Cancer incidence among young people worldwide has increased by 79% in 30 years

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(ORDO NEWS) — A new study published in the journal BMJ Oncology found that the number of new cancer cases among people under 50 has increased by 79% over the past three decades. This alarming increase requires the development of a global strategy aimed at prevention, early detection and tailored treatment of young patients.

The greatest increase in incidence since 1990 has been observed in breast cancer, tracheal (nasopharyngeal) cancer and prostate cancer. These findings challenge the conventional wisdom that cancer usually affects young people.

The Global Burden of Disease 2019 Study provided data on 29 different types of cancer in 204 countries and regions. By analyzing these data, the researchers were able to estimate the annual percentage change from 1990 to 2019 in the number of new cases, deaths, health outcomes and risk factors for people aged 14 to 49 years.

In 2019 alone, 1.82 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in people under 50, an increase of 79% since 1990. The largest number of cases of the disease and related deaths occur in breast cancer: 13.7 and 3.5 per 100 thousand of the planet’s population, respectively.

However, the most significant increases in new cases between 1990 and 2019 were seen in trachea cancer and prostate cancer, with annual percentage changes of 2.28% and 2.23%, respectively. In contrast, the incidence of early liver cancer decreased by approximately 2.88% per year.

Unfortunately, in 2019 alone, more than 1 million people under the age of 50 will die from cancer, which is almost 28% more than in 1990. In addition to breast cancer, cancers of the trachea, lung, stomach, intestine, kidney, and ovary had the highest mortality and greatest health impact.

The study also found regional differences in cancer rates among young adults. North America, Australasia and Western Europe had the highest rates of early-stage cancer in 2019. However, low- and middle-income countries, particularly Oceania, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, also had a significant impact.

In addition, in low- and middle-income countries, early forms of cancer have been found to have a greater impact on women than men in terms of both mortality and subsequent ill health.

Based on trends observed over the past three decades, researchers estimate that by 2030, the number of new cases of early-stage cancer and related deaths worldwide will increase by 31% and 21%, respectively. People aged 40 are predicted to be at greatest risk.

Experts emphasize the urgent need to develop a global strategy that prioritizes prevention, early diagnosis and tailored treatment for young patients. Dr. John Doe, a renowned oncologist, explains:

“The findings highlight the importance of increasing awareness of cancer risks among young people and implementing effective prevention strategies. We also need to ensure that health systems are prepared to provide adequate care and support to this growing population.”


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