July 21, 2024
Study Says Cancer Surging Among Under-50s Worldwide
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Study Says Cancer Surging Among Under-50s Worldwide

A study published in the journal BMJ Oncology shows that the number of people under 50 diagnosed with cancer has surged worldwide in the last three decades but it is not fully clear why. 

The study reveals that the cases of cancer among people aged 14 to 49 rose by nearly 80 percent, from 1.82 million to 3.26 million, between 1990 to 2019, 

While experts cautioned that some of that increase was explained by population growth, previous research has also indicated that cancer is becoming more commonly diagnosed among under-50s.

The international team of researchers behind the new study pointed to poor diet, smoking and alcohol as major risk factors underlying cancer in the age group.

But “the increasing trend of early-onset cancer burden is still unclear,” they added.

A little over one million people under 50 died of cancer in 2019, up 28 percent from 1990, the study said.

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The deadliest cancers were breast, windpipe, lung, bowel and stomach cancers, according to the study.

Breast cancer was the most commonly diagnosed over the three decades.

But the cancers that rose the fastest were of the nasopharynx, where the back of the nose meets the top of the throat, and prostate. Liver cancer meanwhile fell by 2.9 percent a year.

The researchers used data from the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Study, analysing the rates of 29 different cancers in 204 countries.

The more developed the country, the more likely it was to have a higher rate of under-50s diagnosed with cancer, the study said.

This could suggest that wealthier countries with better healthcare systems catch cancer earlier, but only a few nations screen for certain cancers in people under 50, the study added.

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