Cancers Related To Obesity Rates Are Rising Among Millennials In U.S

Cancers Related To Obesity Rates Are Rising Among Millennials In U.S

Cancers Related To Obesity Rates Are Rising Among Millennials In U.S


The American Cancer Society now recommends colorectal cancer tests begin at age 45. Experts say the change would save lives as well as money.

The obesity epidemic may be contributing to an increase in certain cancers among millennials in the U.S., a new study suggests. A researcher’s team in 2018 at the University of California Irvine also alarmed the trend. More people are developing colorectal cancer at a younger age.

The study found that rates of certain cancers linked to obesity — including colorectal, kidney and pancreatic cancer — increased among adults ages 25 to 49 from 1995 and 2014; with steeper rises seen in the youngest age groups. Because these cases are occurring in more people under the age of 50 — typically when medical professionals begin screening for colorectal cancer — they’re often diagnosed at later stages. That requires more treatment.

“The treatment for a single [case of] colon cancer requires very costly specialist care and medicines, which often involves surgery, chemotherapy, and an increased frequency of colonoscopy procedures,”


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What’s more, millennials had about double the risk of developing certain obesity-related cancers than baby boomers had at the same age. The study was published in (Feb. 4) in the journal The Lancet Public Health, to coincide with World Cancer Day.

Related: Early Warning Signs Of Liver Cancer

Cancers Risky And Obesity related 

In 2017 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this  that being overweight or obese in fact increases a person’s risk for at least 13 different types of cancer.

Researchers in several new studies say there’s more evidence that obesity can raise a person’s risk of more than dozen different types of cancer. “The evidence now shows that patients with morbid obesity and diabetes are potentially prone to get non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease that can lead to liver cancer.”

Excess body fat is known to increase the risk of certain cancers. In 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the World Health Organization) published a report linking obesity to a higher risk of 12 cancers: Colorectal, esophageal, gallbladder, gastric cardia (a type of stomach cancer), kidney, liver and bile duct, multiple myeloma (a type of bone marrow cancer), pancreatic and thyroid cancer; and, in women, endometrial, breast and ovarian cancer.

The researchers found that rates of six obesity-related cancers — colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and thyroid — increased among adults ages 25 to 49 during the study period. Although rates of most of these cancers also rose in older adults, the increases were much smaller.

From 2005 to 2014, there was a 1.4 percent increase in cancers related to being overweight and obese among people ages 20 to 49, compared with a 0.4 percent increase in these cancers among people age 50 to 64 set, according to the CDC.

And the obesity rate among American children have gone up in that same time span from 13.9 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2016.

In contrast to obesity-related cancers, rates of most of the 18 non-obesity related cancers did not increase among young adults during the study period. “Younger generations are experiencing earlier and longer-lasting exposure to excess fat and to obesity-related health conditions that can increase cancer risk,” researchers proved.

Caution needed to improve health

Perhaps the takeaway of all this for those with cancer should be the fact that while obesity is a disease and a serious health problem in America, what we eat has an even greater impact on causing and preventing cancer than we previously thought.

There are efforts by a large number of organizations and a growing number of physicians and cancer centers to address this problem and help people enjoy longer, healthier, cancer-free lives.

In addition, the researchers noted that their study found only an association between obesity and cancer, and cannot prove that obesity causes these cancers. Nor can it prove that the obesity epidemic is responsible for the increases in cancer rates in young adults.

Although the researchers speculated that increases in obesity in recent decades may have played a role in the rise of obesity-related cancers seen in the study, future studies are needed to tease out the exact reason why these cancers are increasing among young adults, they said.

 

 

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