Wednesday, August 16, 2023

New study shows cancer among younger women in U.S. is on the rise, Washington Post reports

Some of the biggest increases in disease among younger Americans, a new study shows, is in those diagnosed with gastrointestinal and breast cancers. 

According to a story by Lindsey Beyer in today's editions of The Washington Post, endocrine cancers are also on the rise in that grouping — especially, like the other cancers, among women.

The study, published today in JAMA Network Open, showed that cancers "among people younger than 50 have increased slightly overall, with the largest increases [19 percent] among those age 30 to 39." 

Dr. Paul Oberstein
"It's important to do more research to understand why this is happening," Beyer's story quotes Dr. Paul Oberstein, director of the Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Program at NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center who was not involved in the study, as saying. "If we don't understand what's causing this [increased] risk and we can't do something to change it, we're afraid that as time goes on, it's going to become a bigger and bigger challenge."

Experts, the article indicates, say possible reasons behind the trend include "rising obesity rates and lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol, smoking, sleeping poorly and being sedentary." 

Environmental factors, "including exposure to pollutants and carcinogenic chemicals, also probably play a role," the story continues.

The study, for which researchers analyzed data from more than 560,000 patients in the United States with early-onset cancer, also showed that cancers among older adults have declined.

Dr. Daniel Huang
According to Dr. Daniel Huang, assistant professor at the National University of Singapore and a transplant hepatologist at the National University Hospital, who is the senior author of the study, breast cancer accounted for the highest number of cancers cases in younger people — an increase of about 8 percent in the 10-year period examined (between 2010 and 2019).

More information about disease research can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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