Global Increase in Cancer Cases Among Those Under 50

Over the past three decades since 1990, the number of cancer diagnoses among individuals under the age of 50 has increased by approximately 80% worldwide.

An international research group, as reported in the “BMJ Oncology” journal, noted that most of the cases recorded in 2019 were instances of breast cancer.

The fastest increase over the past three decades was observed in cases of lung and prostate cancer. On the other hand, the number of liver cancer cases in the examined age group decreased by about 3%.

To conduct their analysis, the team led by Dr. Zhou Li from Zhejiang University’s School of Medicine utilized data from the 2019 edition of the “Global Burden of Disease” study series released in the UK.

This dataset collected information from 29 types of cancer across 204 countries, with a focus on individuals aged 14 to 49. According to the data, a total of 3.26 million new cancer diagnoses were observed in 2019, representing a 79% increase compared to 1990.

Overall, more than one million individuals under the age of 50 died due to cancer in 2019, reflecting an increase of nearly 28% compared to 1990.

Highest Cancer Incidence Rates

Geographically, the highest cancer incidence rates were observed in North America, Australia, and Western Europe. However, the number of cases was also increasing in low and middle-income countries, particularly among women.

The study’s authors speculate that variations in data collection or diagnosis quality across different countries might be contributing factors.

In addition to genetic factors, unhealthy diets, alcohol consumption, tobacco use, lack of exercise, obesity, and high blood sugar levels are also believed to play a role in this increase.

Based on the researchers’ assessment, medical professionals expect that the number of new cancer cases and associated deaths among individuals under the age of 50 will continue to rise significantly worldwide until 2030.

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