Friday, 22 February, 2019

For millennials, cancers fueled by obesity are on rise, study says

Obesity enhances the risk of cancer risk in the young adult 'Shocking' rise in obesity-related cancers among young adults
Johnnie Parks | 06 February, 2019, 14:23

"Given the large increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among young people and increasing risks of obesity-related cancers in contemporary birth cohorts, the future burden of these cancers could worsen as younger cohorts age, potentially halting or reversing the progress achieved in reducing cancer mortality over the past several decades".

The authors say innovative strategies are needed to mitigate morbidity and premature mortality associated with obesity-related diseases, primarily by health-care providers and policy makers.

"The lesson we've learned from other cancers is if steps aren't taken to stop the things causing those trends, then they will continue to get higher", Schwartz says.

In addition, communities can provide more opportunities for people to exercise by creating bike and walking paths. Millennials At Risk Of Obesity-Related Cancer The researchers arrive at the conclusion after they studied public data on invasive cancer among individuals ages 25 to 84 years from 1995 to 2014.

These include cancers of the colon, uterine, gallbladder, kidney and pancreas, and multiple myeloma - a bone marrow cancer.

In contrast, rates in successive younger age brackets declined or stabilized in all but two of 18 non-obesity related cancers, including smoking-related and infection-related cancers.

Yet the study found some of the most significant increases were seen in the millennial age bracket, at a time when "overall cancer incidence is decreasing in males and stabilizing in females in the US", Jemal said.

As for gastrointestinal cancer and leukemia, the researchers hypothesize that increases in autoimmune disease, antibiotic use, and exposure to environmental carcinogens may be to blame. However, the study found a 4.34 percent average annual increase in pancreatic cancer diagnoses among people between the ages of 25 and 29 during the study period.

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"The risk of developing an obesity-related cancer seems to be increasing in a stepwise manner in successively younger birth cohorts in the US", writes the team.

The researchers noted that young adults still have an overall lower risk of developing these cancers, compared with older adults.

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

The authors called for more aggressive screening for obesity by front-line doctors, and called on them to warn patients about the cancer risk of being seriously overweight.

In the United States, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, more than 40% of Americans are obese, as are one in every six children ages 2 to 19. Being fat is one of the biggest avoidable causes of cancer.

"Importantly, the findings suggest the need for further close epidemiological monitoring of cancer incidence trends in younger adults", Birmann told BBC.

Professor Aranda continued, "While it is important for people to look after themselves by doing regular physical activity and eating a balanced diet, Australia's obesity problem can not be placed entirely on the individual's shoulders".

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