ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – While colorectal cancer rates have been declining in people over age 55, new research shows the rates have been rising among Generation X and millenials.

A new study finds Americans born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared to those born in 1950.

SLU Care gastro-enterologist Dr. Brent Tetri at SSM Health SLU Hospital says they’re not sure why the increase.

“We know that colon cancer is associated with obesity, and that’s certainly rising in prevalence,” he says. “And we don’t know if it’s something we’re eating, too.”

Tetri says the study should serve as a reminder for all of us to eat a healthy diet with lots of fiber.

The doctor says it also makes him wonder if we should start colo-rectal cancer screening earlier than the currently recommended age 50.

African-Americans are already recommended to start screening at age 45.

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