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Warning of early-onset cancer increasing in young people

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Pt Health Life – People aged 30 – 39 years old have the highest cancer incidence rate and this rate increases in women, not in men, a new study shows.

A new study published in JAMA Network Open shows that cancer rates in people under 50 are increasing. Breast cancer cases are highest in young people, and gastrointestinal cancers (including colon cancer), have the largest increase of any cancer type.

Along with that, researchers also found that, during the same period from 2010 to 2019, cancer rates in people aged 50 and older decreased.

As the incidence of early-onset cancer increases, the diagnosis should be considered clinically appropriate, even in patients under 50 years of age.

Dr. Suneel Kamath, oncologist, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said many patients have seen many different doctors, for months, just to treat a symptom without anyone thinking about cancer. Most think: You are too young to have cancer, so it cannot be cancer.

Not only is research important in raising awareness so that diagnoses are not missed, but more research is needed to get to the bottom of why this happens.

1. Early-onset cancer increased in women but decreased in men

The study used data from 2010 to 2019 from the National Cancer Institute, to analyze overall early-onset cancer incidence, as well as patterns by sex, age group, race and ethnicity. .

Over a 10-year period, a total of 562,145 people with early-onset cancer (cancer in people under 50 years of age) were identified and 62.5% were female.

Overall, there was a 0.74% increase during the study period, with early-onset cancers in women increasing by 4.4% but decreasing by 4.9% in men. The increase in younger women may be due to an increase in breast cancer and uterine cancer…

In 2019 alone, breast cancer had the highest number of early-onset cases with 12,649 cases, followed by thyroid cancer with 5,869 cases.

New research shows that cancer increases in young people, more so in women.

2. Early-onset gastrointestinal cancers grow the fastest

From 2010 to 2019, gastrointestinal cancer rates increased the fastest among all early-onset cancers (nearly 15% increase). In addition to colon cancer, cancer of the appendix, intrahepatic bile duct and pancreas has the fastest growth rate. The incidence of the disease increases highest in people aged 30 to 39 years.

These findings not only help raise awareness that cancer in young people is on the rise, but also help identify groups at higher risk of the disease. For example, people of Asian or Hispanic descent, where the spike was highest, could benefit from increased screening, the researchers said.

3. Early-onset cancer is often more difficult to treat

According to Dr. Kamath, cancer in people under 50 tends to be more difficult to treat. Largely because these cancers are diagnosed at very late stages, with delays in treatment, outcomes tend to be worse.

A cancer diagnosis in young people will bring more devastating mental shocks, when they are in their prime, setting many expectations for career goals and family life. ., PhD. Ning Jin, a gastrointestinal oncologist at The Ohio State University, said.

People under 50 may experience more financial stress and difficulty balancing work, life and medical treatment. They often have to deal with acute and long-term side effects from treatment, including pain and bowel dysfunction. If a patient needs radiation therapy for rectal cancer, there will be concerns about fertility, sexual dysfunction and colostomy management…, Dr. Jin added.

4. Lifestyle and early exposure to antibiotics may play a role in cancer in young people

According to the authors, more research is needed to understand why cancer is increasing in young people and in certain groups. It may be related to changes in lifestyle, such as the typical Western diet (high in red meat and less fiber) and food additives.

There is also data to suggest that antibiotic use , especially early in life, may play a role. Overprescribing antibiotics can have long-term impacts on the microbiome and may be linked to the onset of more cancers later in life.

5. Why do cancer rates decrease in older people?

Dr. Screening measures, such as mammograms or colonoscopies, can help reduce cancer incidence in some cases, Kamath said. For example, if a mammogram detects a precancerous tumor before it becomes cancerous and removes it, you can prevent cancer from occurring. During colonoscopy, if polyps are identified and removed, colon cancer can be prevented from developing…

Although screening reduces the number of older people who develop cancer, some of the decrease is due to people who would develop cancer in their 50s and 60s getting the disease earlier. For example, someone who may develop cancer later in life at age 65 will develop the disease at age 45, Dr. Kamath said.

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