An unusual increase in cancer cases in people under the

An ‘unusual’ increase in cancer cases in people under the age of 50

Since the 1990s, cancer cases have been increasing in people in their 40s and even 30s, according to a 2022 study by experts at Harvard University.

Cases of breast, colon, oesophagus, gallbladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, prostate, stomach and thyroid cancer are increasing in people over 50, 40 and 30 years of age. An increase that, according to Dr. Arif Kamal, patient manager at the American Cancer Society, is “unusual.”

“Cancer is generally thought of as an age-related disease because you take your time enough to have some sort of genetic accident,” he explains.

Cells are damaged over decades by environmental toxins and lifestyle habits that are not always healthy, which can lead to cancerous mutations.

According to the World Health Organization, smoking, alcohol consumption, air pollution, obesity, lack of exercise and a diet low in fruit and vegetables are the main risk factors for cancer. And if several elements are present, according to scientists from Harvard University, a person is more likely to develop cancer early.

“For example, you don’t need to eat roasted or processed meat as a staple for 65 years. What you need is around the age of 20 and then you see stomach and colon cancer at a young age,” adds Kamal.

The importance of getting tested

Among the most common cancers, especially breast, colon, stomach and prostate cancer, are genetic in origin.

For this reason, according to Dr. It’s important to know your family’s medical history.

“When I talk to patients, they say, ‘Oh yeah, grandma had cancer. I want to know two questions: at what age was the cancer diagnosed and what type of cancer was it? I need to know if she had cancer in her 30s or 60s because that will determine your risk level. But often they don’t know,” he says.