Colonoscopy audit finds high rate of bowel cancer in under-50s

The single-centre study has prompted a leading charity to renew its call to lower the screening age

Almost 2% of patients younger than 50 undergoing colonoscopy at a major Queensland hospital were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, double the rate identified in other studies of younger patients, researchers say.

Australian bowel cancer screening guidelines recommend two-yearly faecal occult blood testing from the age of 50 until 74 but Gold Coast University Hospital researchers say this advice might need review, given emerging evidence of increasing incidence at younger ages.

In their retrospective cohort study, the group reviewed 557 patients aged between