New findings show that the risk for cancer has increased dramatically for young adults, particularly Millennials, with much of the latest researching covering those under the age of 50. The latest trends are seen as an indicator of what the future of the disease holds for this group, with previous studies showing an increase in colorectal cancer that is partially linked to the growing obesity epidemic in the United States. The study includes trends for more than 12 obesity-related cancers and serves as a template for understanding how exposure to carcinogenic factors can affect overall health.
In the time between 1995 and 2014, there were more than 14 million cases involving 30 types of cancer, with a dramatic increase in six, specifically related to obesity: multiple, myeloma, colorectal, gall bladder, uterine corpus, pancreatic, and kidney cancer. This sharp rise in these cancers in young adults aged between 25 to 49 years of age has led many to proclaim that more studies are necessary in order to better understand the correlation between body weight and other factors that pose a health risk. Being exposed to carcinogens early in life can affect developmental growth and increase cumulative mutagenic damage.
Obesity has become a huge problem for the last forty years and it has led to younger generations being more affected worldwide. Gastric non-cardia cancer and leukemia are two other types of cancer that have increased markedly in young adults a well, with breast cancer also rising among some ethnic groups while remaining stable in others. For all three subtypes of leukemia (acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoid leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia), the risk increased for those under the age of 50.
The future for the levels of these cancers affecting Millennials and other generations remains uncertain as reversing the progress of reducing mortality from cancer over the next few decades depends on studies that focus on those risk factors that can be modified in early life that are necessary for reducing exposure.