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Cancer rates among young people are increasing inexplicably

Cancer rates among young people are increasing inexplicably

Data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine show that industrialized nations Among the populations of G20 countries, the incidence of cancer among people aged 25-29 has increased faster than any other age group over the past three decades, at 22% between 1990 and 2019.

Cancer rates among people between the ages of 20 and 34 in these countries are at their highest level in the past 30 years.

On the other hand, cases in older age groups — those over 75 — have fallen from their peak around 2005.

Researchers don’t have a definitive explanation for why young people appear to be more likely to develop the disease than young people of the same age in previous generations.

Researchers say there may be clues to the types of cancers that strike younger people. Among people aged 15 to 39 in G20 countries, the number of colon cancer cases increased by 70 percent between 1990 and 2019, compared to a 24 percent increase in all cancers, according to Financial Times research.

According to an analysis of national cancer incidence and mortality data by the American Cancer Society This year, 13 percent of colon cancer cases and 7 percent of deaths will affect people under the age of 50.

Scientists are becoming increasingly convinced that changes in diet and lifestyle that began in the middle of the last century may hold at least part of the key to the puzzle.

The incidence of the disease has increased dramatically among people born in the 60s or later, says Frank Synekrupp, a gastroenterologist and oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in the US who specializes in early colon cancer. According to him, the increase in the number of young people seeking treatment in recent years is “extremely worrying”.

He believes the rise is likely due to the diet and lifestyle children are exposed to at a young age, and points to childhood obesity, which has “become more prevalent and problematic over the past 30 years.” But Sinicrope adds that no single factor can explain this.

While investigating the link to diet, the researchers focus on the possibility that changes in the microbiome — the microbes that live in us, mainly in the gut — increase susceptibility to cancer. The microbiome is believed to play a major role in overall health, including digestion and regulating the immune system, as well as providing protection against disease-causing bacteria and aiding in the production of vital vitamins.R.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, warns that the biggest predictor of cancer risk is still age,

Because about 90 percent of all cancers affect people over the age of 50, and the other half occur in people over the age of 75.

However, regarding the growth seen in the younger age groups, he noted:

important change. We need to understand this change.

CRUK has launched a joint research initiative with the US National Cancer Institute to learn more about the causes of early cancer.

Cover image is illustrative. Cover image source: Getty Images

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