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Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 4024580, 10 pages
Research Article

Patterns of Sociodemographic and Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Stages II and III Colorectal Cancer Patients by Age: Examining Potential Mechanisms of Young-Onset Disease

1Division of Epidemiology, Department of Clinical Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA
2Department of Epidemiology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
3Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
4Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Caitlin C. Murphy

Received 26 August 2016; Revised 16 December 2016; Accepted 28 December 2016; Published 23 January 2017

Academic Editor: Lance A. Liotta

Copyright © 2017 Caitlin C. Murphy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background and Aims. As a first step toward understanding the increasing incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in younger (age < 50) populations, we examined demographic, clinicopathologic, and socioeconomic characteristics and treatment receipt in a population-based sample of patients newly diagnosed with stages II and III CRC. Methods. Patients were sampled from the National Cancer Institute’s Patterns of Care studies in 1990/91, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010 (). Tumor characteristics and treatment data were obtained through medical record review and physician verification. We compared sociodemographic and clinicopathologic characteristics and treatment patterns of younger (age < 50) and older (age 50–69, age ≥ 70) CRC patients. Results. Younger patients were more likely to be black (13%) and Hispanic (15%) than patients aged 50–69 years (11% and 10%, resp.) and ≥70 years (7% each). A larger proportion of young white (41%) and Hispanic (33%) patients had rectal tumors, whereas tumors in the right colon were the most common in young black patients (39%). The majority of younger patients received chemotherapy and radiation therapy, although receipt of microsatellite instability testing was suboptimal (27%). Conclusion. Characteristics of patients diagnosed with young-onset CRC differ considerably by race/ethnicity, with a higher proportion of black and Hispanic patients diagnosed at the age of < 50 years.