Aims: An increase in incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) in developing countries, including India, is reported recently; however, systematic analyses of clinico-pathological features and disease prognosis has seldom been undertaken. Materials & methods: We studied clinical data pertaining to 1259 colorectal adenocarcinoma patients from two tertiary cancer centers in south India. Results: Approximately 45% of patients were aged below 50 years and poor grade and late-stage tumors were significantly associated with early disease onset. Although tumor grade and stage significantly influenced disease-free survival independently, significant association between survival and age of onset or tumor location was not detected unlike previous observations. Conclusion: Given the sizeable proportion of EOCRC, implementation of the revised Bethesda guidelines may not be tenable in India. More importantly, the previous observation of EOCRC being significantly associated with poor survival could, in part, be due to a higher proportion of advanced-stage tumors.
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