New Study Reveals Alarming Increase in Cancer Cases Among Adults Under 50
Joint research conducted by the University of Edinburgh, UK, and Zhejiang University, China, has shed light on a concerning trend – the number of cancer patients under the age of 50 has skyrocketed by nearly 80% over the past three decades.
The study, published in the esteemed academic journal ‘BMJ Oncology,’ analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease survey covering 204 countries and regions. Shockingly, the research team discovered that more than a million lives are claimed each year by cancer among this younger age group.
Incredibly, breast cancer emerged as the most prevalent cancer among individuals under 50. The study further predicts that by 2030, new cancer cases and related deaths worldwide will surge by 31% and 21%, respectively.
By comparing data collected from 1990 to 2019, the research team found that the number of new cancer cases in this age group in 2019 alone stood at a staggering 3.26 million, representing an alarming 79.1% increase compared to 1990 figures. Similarly, the number of deaths climbed by 27.7% from 830,000 to 1.06 million.
Breast cancer accounted for the highest number of cases and deaths, with approximately 13.7 cases and 3.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals globally. Other forms of cancer with substantial mortality rates included bronchial, lung, stomach, and bowel cancers. Surprisingly, kidney and ovarian cancers witnessed the largest increase in mortality rates, with annual incidence growth rates of 2.28% and 2.23%, respectively. Conversely, early liver cancer saw a promising decline of 2.88% annually.
Genetic factors were identified as the primary cause of early cancer development. However, the research team outlined several other contributing factors, including a diet high in meat consumption, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and inadequate physical activity. The report emphasizes that adopting a healthy lifestyle, comprising a balanced diet, limited tobacco and alcohol consumption, and regular exercise, can help mitigate the burden of early cancer development.
Notably, the prevalence of early cancer varies significantly across different regions. North America recorded the highest incidence in 2019, with a staggering 273.2 cases per 100,000 individuals, while West Sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest incidence at 37.4 cases per 100,000 people. Regions with higher early cancer mortality rates included Oceania (39.1 deaths per 100,000 people), Eastern Europe (33.7 deaths per 100,000 people), and Central Asia (31.8 deaths per 100,000 people). Conversely, the high-income Asia-Pacific region enjoyed the lowest death rate from early cancer at 16.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Additionally, the impact of early-onset cancer is disproportionately higher on women in low- and middle-income countries than on men.
A joint research team between the University of Edinburgh, UK and Zhejiang University, China
Over the last 30 years, the number of cancer patients under the age of 50 has increased by more than 80%. Provided by Getty Image Bank
The number of cancer patients under the age of 50 worldwide has increased by almost 80% in 30 years. Among them, it was found that more than 1 million people die every year. The most common cancer among those under 50 was breast cancer. It is also predicted that by 2030, the number of new patients and deaths from early cancer worldwide will increase by 31% and 21%, respectively.
According to research results published recently in the international academic journal ‘BMJ Oncology’ by a joint research team from the University of Edinburgh in the UK and Zhejiang University in China, the number of new cancer patients under the age of 50 worldwide has increased 79. % over the last 30 years. The research team estimated the annual rate of change in new cancer cases, deaths, health outcomes, and risk factors among people aged 14 to 49 based on ‘global burden of disease’ data surveyed for 29 cancers in 204 countries and regions from 1990. up to 2019. .
As a result of the analysis, the number of new cancer diagnoses in people under the age of 50 in 2019 was 3.26 million, an increase of 79.1% compared to 1.82 million in 1990. Among these, the number of deaths also increased by 27.7% from 830,000 to 1.06 million.
Breast cancer accounted for the largest number of cases and early deaths, with 13.7 cases and 3.5 deaths per 100,000 people worldwide. The cancers with the next highest number of deaths were bronchial, lung, stomach and bowel cancers. The cancers with the greatest increase in mortality were kidney cancer and ovarian cancer, with annual increases in incidence of 2.28% and 2.23%, respectively. On the other hand, there was a reduction of 2.88% each year in early liver cancer.
Genetic factors are considered to be the biggest cause of early cancer development. The research team suggested that other factors include a diet focused on meat, drinking, smoking, and lack of physical activity. “The burden of early cancer development can be reduced through a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, limiting tobacco and alcohol intake, and participating in appropriate outdoor activities,” the report said.
Differences in cancer incidence by region are also evident. The region with the highest incidence of early cancer in 2019 was North America, recording 273.2 cases per 100,000 people. The lowest incidence was in West Sub-Saharan Africa, with 37.4 cases per 100,000 people. Places with high early cancer mortality included Oceania (39.1 per 100,000 people), Eastern Europe (33.7 per 100,000 people), and Central Asia (31.8 per 100,000 people). The region with the lowest death rate from early cancer was the high-income Asia-Pacific region (16.3 deaths per 100,000 people). In low- and middle-income countries, early-onset cancer has a much greater impact on women than on men.
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