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Cancer cases in younger people are on the rise

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In the United States this year alone, there will be an anticipated 2,001,140 new cancer cases—leading to an estimated 611,720 related deaths. That's 5,480 new cases and 1,680 deaths every day. And, according to a recent CNN report, cancer cases among younger people are rising sharply.

The American Cancer Society-reported cancer risks rise greatly with age, with 88% of U.S. patients being 50 or older. Around 57% of American cancer patients are 65 or older. Although a significant majority are , the rate at which adolescents are diagnosed with cancer his increased by roughly 1% every year since 1975.

"In 2024, an estimated 9,620 children (ages 0 to 14 years) and 5,290 adolescents (ages 15-19 years) will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1,040 children and 550 adolescents will die from the disease," according to the report. "Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death among both children and adolescents."

Globally, the incidence of early onset cancer (cancer in people under 50) increased by 79.1% between 1990 and 2019 alone. The number of related deaths increased by 27.7%.

According to the study that discovered the trend, nasopharyngeal and prostate cancer showed the most drastic increases in early onset cases.

Overall, the significant spike in cases was laid at the feet of dietary risk factors (such as diets high in red meats and low in fruits), and tobacco use.

"There are a number of hypotheses," Dr. Leana Wen, CNN's wellness expert, told the news outlet. "Some researchers point to the escalating rates of obesity over the last few decades, which is associated with the risk of early-onset cancer. On a related note, the change in , specifically the increase in consumption of ultraprocessed food, and also are associated with higher cancer rates. Others speculate that there may be at play, such as carcinogens released into the air, water and food supplies."

2024 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Cancer cases in younger people are on the rise (2024, April 25) retrieved 20 June 2024 from
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