December 11, 2023


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Cancer cases in under-50s rocket 79 percent in thirty years#Cancer #cases #under50s #rocket #percent #years

There were 3.26 million new diagnoses in 2019, a 79% rise compared with 1990, a study has found.

Breast cancer accounted for the most early onset cases, while tumours of the windpipe and prostate had increased the fastest.

Deaths had also risen by around 28% to more than one million in 2019.

The regions with the highest rates of early-onset disease were North America, Australasia and Western Europe. Study author Dr Xue Li, of Edinburgh University’s Usher Institute, said those cancers showed an “upward trend” in the UK from 1990 to 2010.

However, it was “stable” from 2010 to 2019. She added: “Fortunately, the annual mortality rate from early-onset cancer in the UK has been steadily decreasing, a testament to the outstanding cancer screening and treatment efforts over the past three decades.”

The team, with researchers from Zhejiang University in China, said factors explaining the global rise included genetics, diets high in red meat and salt, lack of exercise and high blood sugar.

The study – in the journal BMJ Oncology – comes after Cancer Research UK revealed advances in tackling the disease helped save 1.2 million lives here since the mid-1980s.

Dr Claire Knight, at the charity, said: “It’s not fully clear what is driving the rise in early-onset cancers, but exposure to risk factors in earlier life, better detection of cancer and genetics might all play a part.”

She said cancer was “primarily a disease of older age” but added: “We need more research to examine the causes of early-onset cancer” such as younger women at risk of breast cancer.

Dr Knight said: “If people are concerned about cancer risk, there are lots of ways to reduce this, such as not smoking, a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and staying safe in the sun.”

Prof Stephen Duffy, at Queen Mary University of London, said the worldwide increase in breast cancer cases in under-50s was also apparent in the UK and was not down to screening.

He called the results “complicated” and said experts “will need to take a long look at them”.

#Cancer #cases #under50s #rocket #percent #years

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