We asked our SCPN team and friends what they thought was the most interesting paper that had come across their desks this year. We asked Miss Susan Moug, consultant colorectal surgeon and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor based at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley to tell us her nomination for paper of the year. In reply, she sent us this thought provoking statistic from the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership.

Increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults in Europe over the last 25 years

Fanny ER Vuik, Stella AV Nieuwenburg, Marc Bardou et al.

GUT Journal

https://gut.bmj.com/content/68/10/1820

Why we can’t sit still…

It is not a paper that has struck a chord with me in 2019, but a statistic and a campaign. As a bowel surgeon I am trained to treat patients that are usually over 50s when they have a diagnosis of bowel cancer. What has become apparent to my colleagues and myself is that this clinical picture is changing with an increasing number of younger adults being diagnosed. A number of publications were released this year that show that bowel cancer rates are significantly increasing in younger adults – up to 7.9%  in 20-29 year group. Although this is not a big contribution to the overall numbers of patients being diagnosed very year in the UK, this increase is not reflected in the older adult group. This is why we cannot sit still and need to continue to improve our understanding of how cancer works. To highlight this changing demographic and raise awareness of bowel cancer in younger adults, Bowel Cancer UK started a campaign called Never Too Young. By focusing on individual stories, this campaign has shown that symptoms should not dismissed in younger adults and should get checked out. I encourage you to listen to them.