Millennials are four times as likely to develop colon cancer than those in their sixties, bad diets to blame

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Young adults are facing a colon cancer “time bomb” because of their unhealthy diets and lack of exercise, scientists warn.

The crisis is blamed on unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise.

“Millennials” – born around 1990 – are four times more at risk of rectal tumours than those in their late 60s and twice as likely to get colon cancer.

A third of rectal diagnoses are in the under 55s, making the situation as bad in as the late 1800s, said scientists at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

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Epidemiologist Dr Rebecca Siegel, of the American Cancer Society, Atlanta, said: “Trends in young people are a bellwether for the future disease burden.

“Our finding that colorectal (bowel) cancer risk for millennials has escalated back to the level of those born in the late 1800s is very sobering.

“We also need to encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend.”

Previous research has found snacking on chocolate, biscuits and cakes could increase the risk of the disease, as could drinking fizzy drinks.

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