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Project reference number – 0075

Principal investigator – Prof Richard Feltbower

Plain language summary – This is a study of bowel cancer looking for differences between younger(aged under 40) and older (aged 40 or older) patients. Within these groups we also want to compare by sex, ethnic group, geographical location and economic status. We will look for differences in the chances of developing bowel cancer, in the stage of cancer, in the type of treatment and in survival. We will also look for differences in whether patients were included in clinical studies, and whether they were seen by colorectal surgeons rather than general surgeons.

Most cases of bowel cancer occur in older patients, with the chances of developing bowel cancer rising steeply from around the age of 50 and the highest rates in those aged 85 to 89. However, bowel cancer does occur in younger people and there is the concern that a healthcare system that usually deals with bowel cancer patients aged over 50 may not meet their needs. We hope to inform the prevention, screening and management of bowel cancer in younger people.