Mukesh Shanthilal1, Sathya Maruthavanan2

INTRODUCTION Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer which can be detected early by implementation of cancer screening. This has led to decline in colorectal cancer related morbidity and mortality in elderly patients. However, there is increase in the incidence of this cancer in young individuals. This study was undertaken to study the characteristics of young colorectal cancer patients. METHODS AND MATERIALS The study was conducted from 2014 to 2016. All colorectal cancer patients attending the Department of Oncology, who were less than or equal to 50 years of age were included. Patients’ demographic data as well as data regarding the colorectal cancer was collected. The data was entered into MS Excel worksheet and analysed using descriptive statistics. RESULTS This study included 28 patients with a median age of 40 years and equal sex distribution. History of smoking in 85.7% (12/14) and alcohol (moderate) consumption in 64% (9/14) was present in male patients. There was no history of alcohol or smoking was present among female patients. However, tobacco chewing habit was present in 28% (4/14) of female patients. History of multiple sexual partners in 14% (4/28) of cases and 78% (22/28) were non-vegetarians. Nearly 85% (24/28) of patients presented with an advanced stage disease. The analysis showed involvement of left side of colon in 50% (14/28), rectum in 39% (11/28) and right side of colon in 11%(3/28). Except for two patients who were in stage - 1, all other patients received chemotherapy. CONCLUSION The incidence of colorectal cancer in young individuals is constantly rising. The reason for this increase is unclear and the relative contributions of genetic versus environmental factors remain relatively unexplored.