Objectives: The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing in younger populations; the
characteristics and prognosis of those younger patients are not fully understood. The aim of this retrospective
study was to analyze the clinicopathological features of Chinese CRC patients under 30 years of age.
Methods: We reviewed the clinical and pathological features of 83 CRC patients (33 males and 50 females) aged 13-30
years (mean, 26.1 years) selected from consecutive 5,830 patients with primary CRC referred to Shanghai Changzheng
Hospital between January 1995 and December 2013.
Results: The duration from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis ranged from 3 days to 24.0 months (average 4.6 months).
The most common symptom at the time of diagnosis was bloody stool, occurring in 66.3% of the patients. 60.2% patients
had tumors located in the rectum and 72.8% of them presented advanced diseases (TNM stage III or IV). More male
patients presented as M1 stage than the female patients. Patients with CRC metastasis complained of more fatigue at the
time of diagnosis than their counterparts without metastasis (31.0% vs. 5.8%, p = 0.002), but had less pronounced bowel
habit change (38.0% vs. 65.4%, p = 0.017). Additionally, there were differences in histologic distributions of the tumors
between patients with and without metastasis (p = 0.021).
Conclusions: Compared with older CRC patients, younger CRC patients (<30 yr) have a higher frequency of mucinous
adenocarcinomas, more aggressive diseases and poorer prognosis. Identification of clinicopathological characteristics in
younger CRC patients would help diagnose and treat the disease in this unique group of CRC patients in the clinic.