Cancer Fueled by Obesity On Rise in Millennials

06 February, 2019, 14:27 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Obesity-Related Cancer Rates Are Rising Among Millennials

Despite the findings, it's not all bad news on the cancer front: the study shows that rates have declined or stabilized in all but two of 18 non-obesity related cancers, including smoking-related and infection-related cancers.

The study suggests that the sharpest increase in obesity-related cancer incidence is in adults aged 25 to 49.

The six obesity-related cancers that showed startling increases among younger adults were colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic and multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. For example, the risk of colorectal, uterine corpus [endometrial], pancreas, and gall bladder cancers in millennials is about double the rate baby boomers had at the same age.

Despite these increases in risk, the authors note that the overall incidence of these cancers remains higher in older age groups than in younger age groups.

"This study has come at a time when the overall cancer incidence is decreasing in males and stabilizing in females in the U.S.". The data was taken from 25 state registries, covering 67 percent of the USA population. The cancer-obesity issue "is a really important topic because we've had an obesity crisis now for a number of decades", said John Jakicic, a professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyle Institute at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. These cancers include multiple myeloma, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney and pancreatic.

They also rose in older adults, except for bowel cancer, but by a smaller percentage. [4] The younger the age group, the greater the size of the increase - in all seven of the cancer types except for thyroid cancer. Among 30 to 34-year-olds, the average annual increase was more than twice that. "And we know in people that obesity is associated with an increase in cancer and a worse prognosis for patients who have cancer".

In a sweeping study covering two-thirds of the United States population, they showed that half a dozen cancers for which obesity is a known risk factor became more frequent from 1995 to 2015 among women and men under 50.

Overall, the findings could reflect the obesity epidemic of the past 40 years.

The rates of new cancer cases and cancer deaths have fallen in the US over the past few decades.

"The future burden of these cancers might be exacerbated as younger cohorts age, potentially halting or reversing the progress achieved in reducing cancer mortality over the past several decades", the authors write.

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Obesity is an emerging risk factor that is driving a number of important cancers, said Elizabeth Platz, a scholar in cancer prevention at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.

Obesity has already been linked to rising rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and knee replacements. "Less than half of primary care physicians regularly assess body mass index despite national screening recommendations", he said.

Two thirds of Britons are now overweight and more than a quarter of the population is obese. They found a disturbing trend among adults age 24 to 49, CNN reported.

The link between obesity and cancer is of growing concern. Additional experimental and population-based studies will be needed to test the hypothesis more directly.

"Cancer trends among young people can be often considered as a bellwether for future disease burden", says Hyuna Sung, PhD, a cancer epidemiologist and principal scientist of the Surveillance and Health Services Research Program at the American Cancer Society.

UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) did not show similar increases.

[1] Quote direct from author and can not be found in the text of the Article.

Using the "Cancer In North America" database, they collected information on these 30 types in patients aged 25-84 who were diagnosed between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2014.

[4] For incidence rates and frequencies for all cancer types examined in the study, please see Table S2 the appendix.

The rate of breast cancer, also obesity-related, has not changed in young women.

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