Dr. Warren Enker, a colorectal surgeon and vice chairman of surgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, said that the new analysis "doesn't surprise me in the least."
"A dietary cause makes sense," he said. "If you take kids who are in an environment where the general caloric intake is higher, a sedentary lifestyle is more prevalent than it was 30 years ago and the type of food they're eating -- as regards red meat -- is higher, and then you put all of those things together, then there is no surprise that you have a rising incidence of colon cancer among younger people relative to others."
But Enker, who is also director of the G.I. Institute for Continuum Cancer Centers of New York, cautioned that more research is needed on other factors, such as smoking history and socioeconomic background, that might influence colorectal cancer rates.
The American Cancer Society has more on colorectal cancer.
SOURCES: Rebecca L. Siegel, M.P.H., manager, surveillance information, Department of Surveillance and Health Policy Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Warren Enker, M.D., colorectal surgeon and vice chairman, Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City, and director, G.I. Institute, Continuum Cancer Centers of New York; June 2009, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention