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Young cancer patients have poorer prognosis but better survival

Young cancer patients have poorer prognosis but better survival
31st May 2012

Patients diagnosed with colon cancer at a young age have a poorer prognosis but are more likely to survive than older people with the disease.

This is the new finding by the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr Edith Mitchell, clinical professor at the department and director of the newly-established Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, said that the medical profession sees more advanced and aggressive tumours in younger people than those over 50.

"Screening isn't recommended until age 50, and the younger a patient is, the more likely they are to ignore symptoms of more advanced stages of the disease," she explained.

But despite a poorer prognosis, younger colon cancer patients have survival rates better than, or as good as those 50 and older, which the study puts down to better overall health.

Nevertheless, more investigation is needed to assess the survival and prognosis disparity in colon cancer patients.

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