Cancer cases in younger people rising globally, researchers claim – – Our News, Your Views

Cancer cases in younger people rising globally, researchers claim

The study suggests that factors such as obesity and alcohol consumption are contributing to the alarming rise in cancer rates among young people around the world, reports RTE.

Scientists estimate that between 1990 and 2019, the number of new cancers in people under the age of 50 increased by 79%.

A team from the University of Edinburgh and Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China analyzed data on 29 cancers from 204 countries and regions from the Global Burden of Disease 2019 study.

They looked at new cases, deaths, health outcomes and risk factors for people aged 14 to 49, estimating annual rates for each year.

In 2019, there were 1.8 million new cancer diagnoses among people under the age of 50, an increase of 79.1% since 1990.

Deaths also increased by 27.7%.

The researchers said that while genetics played a role, the “main risk factors” were factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and overweight, low physical activity and height along with a diet high in meat and salt and low in fruit and milk.

Breast cancer has the highest percentage – 13.7 per 100,000 – while lung and prostate cancers are growing the fastest – 2.28% and 2.23% per year respectively.

However, the incidence of early liver cancer decreased by 2.88% per year, reports RTE.

The regions with the highest rates of early cancer are North America, Australia and Western Europe.

Study author Dr Xue Li, from the Center for Global Health at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute, said that while primary cancer had shown an “upward trend” in the UK between 1990 and 2010, “the overall incidence rate remained stable” since 2010.

She added: “Fortunately, the annual mortality rate from early-onset cancer in the UK has been steadily decreasing, a testament to the outstanding cancer screening and treatment efforts over the past three decades,” reports RTE.

Publishing the study in the journal BMJ Oncology, the charity Cancer Research UK said advances in cancer treatment had helped save 1.2 million lives in the UK since the mid-1980s.

These figures include an estimated 560,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer, 236,000 deaths from stomach cancer, 224,000 deaths from bowel cancer and 17,000 deaths from breast cancer.

The charity said the improvements were due to advances in cancer prevention as well as improvements in radiotherapy, use of cancer screening programmes, drug development and diagnosis and treatment, including gene discovery.

Dr Claire Knight, senior health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s not fully clear what is driving the rise in early-onset cancers, but exposure to risk factors in earlier life, better detection of cancer and genetics might all play a part. We need more research to examine the causes of early-onset cancer for specific cancer types, like our BCAN-RAY study that is looking at new ways to identify younger women at higher risk of breast cancer,” she said, reports RTE.

“If people are concerned about their cancer risk, there are lots of ways to help reduce this, such as not smoking, maintaining a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and staying safe in the sun,” she added, reports RTE.

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