Some Cancers Are Rising in Young People. Scientists Think They Know Why

Pearl Mccarthy
February 6, 2019

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO Cancer Council Australia said, "With more than two thirds of adults considered overweight or obese, and almost half insufficiently active, these results show we have the potential to prevent a significant number of cancers in Australia and potentially save thousands of lives".

While some cancers have a fairly clear cause - like smoking for lung cancer, or HPV for cervical cancer - many are brought on by a confluence of chance, genetics and lifestyle and health factors. This is 5.6 times higher than the 0.77 per cent in those aged 45 to 49. They looked at 30 types of cancers, including 12 that are considered obesity-related. The risk of colorectal, uterine corpus (endometrial), pancreas and gall bladder cancers in millennials, for example, was found to be about double the rate baby boomers faced at the same age, according to a press release on the report.

For the study, the researchers examined stats of 12 obesity-related cancers between 1995 and 2014 and 18 cancers which were not associated with weight.

"Although the absolute risk of these cancers is small in younger adults, these findings have important public health implications", said Ahmedin Jemal, ACS's scientific vice president of surveillance & health services research and an author of the paper.

The study - which analyzed 20 years of data (covering 1995 to 2014) for 30 cancers in 25 states - found incidences of obesity-linked cancers to be rising at faster rates in millennials than older USA generations.

The more active cells a person has in their body, the higher the chance of one of them going rogue and triggering this chain reaction.

A separate 2018 study found that excess body weight may have accounted for up to 60% of all endometrial cancers, 36% of gallbladder cancers, 33% of kidney cancers, 17% of pancreatic cancers, and 11% of multiple myelomas that occurred in 2014.

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) - As more young American adults struggle with extra weight, they are paying an even steeper price as the rates of obesity-related cancers rise in this age group. It's timely to consider what can be done to avert the impending rise.

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Sung agrees that more evidence is needed to link rising rates of some types of cancers to obesity.

A further 19,200 inactivity-related cancers could also potentially be avoided if every Australian adult undertook at least five hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week.

The younger the age group, the greater the size of the increase in all seven of the cancer types except for thyroid cancer.

Among 25 to 29-year-olds, the rate jumped by 4.4 percent per year.

The obesity epidemic is driving a surge in the number of young people diagnosed with obesity-related cancers that threatens to reverse decades of progress in lowering cancer deaths, according to a new study.

"Younger generations are experiencing earlier and longer-lasting exposure to excess fat and to obesity-related health conditions that can increase cancer risk", Jemal said.

According to the researchers, the growing obesity epidemic in the United States could be influencing the trends identified in the study.

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