Cancer, younger

  In recent years, the incidence of cancer worldwide has been increasing. In 2020, there will be 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10 million cancer deaths worldwide, while there will be approximately 4.57 million new cancer cases and 3 million cancer deaths in China. The World Health Organization Cancer Research Agency International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) predicts that there will be about 28.4 million new cancer cases worldwide in 2040, a 47% increase from 19.3 million in 2020.
  Compared with other cancer risk factors, age is almost a “crushing existence”. Cancer incidence and mortality both increase with age. The cancer risk of a 70-year-old is more than 100 times that of a 25-year-old. The latest cancer report published by the National Cancer Center also confirms this point: In my country, the age groups of 50-54 and 60-64 have the most cases of malignant tumors. For this reason, we often think of cancer as a disease of old age.
  However, there are more and more “post-80s” and “post-90s” around us who have begun to develop various cancers. Is Cancer Really Getting Younger? The answer is yes.
  We first saw the trend of rejuvenation from the incidence reports of single cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer that develops between the ages of 20 and 49 is classified as early-onset colorectal cancer. The number of patients with this type of cancer was originally very small, but it has gradually increased in recent years. A study published in JAMA Surgery estimated that by 2030, 10.9 percent of colon cancer patients and 22.9 percent of rectal cancer patients will be under the age of 50, up from just 1 percent in 2010. 4.8% and 9.5%.
  The American Cancer Society is based on 10-year (2007-2016) data of cancer patients from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North American Central Cancer Registry Association, and the National Center for Health Statistics, according to different age groups (15-19 years old, 20-29 Age and 30-39 years), sex, and race/ethnicity, cancer incidence and mortality among adolescents were analyzed. RESULTS: Total cancer incidence increased across all age groups, primarily due to increased incidence of thyroid cancer. The incidence of thyroid cancer is increasing at a rate of nearly 3% per year, among which the rate of growth in the 20-39 age group is at a rate of 4%. Rates of several obesity-related cancers increased across most age groups, including kidney, endometrial and colorectal cancers. In addition, the 15-19 age group has the highest incidence rate of lymphoma; the 20-29 age group has the highest incidence rate of thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, and melanoma; the 30-39 age group has the highest incidence rate of female breast cancer, thyroid cancer, and melanoma. Ranked among the top three in terms of incidence. However, the good news is that despite the increase in the incidence of cancer, the overall 5-year survival rate is also increasing because of the development of treatment methods.
  A recent review published in a sub-journal of “Nature” elaborated more thoroughly on the phenomenon and nature of the rejuvenation of cancer onset. The review begins with a detailed meta-analysis that establishes a conclusion: Worldwide, since the 1990s, the incidence of various cancers diagnosed in adults under the age of 50 has continued to rise, which the article calls “the early-onset cancer epidemic” . Because of the overwhelming evidence, the National Cancer Institute has also made this phenomenon a research priority.
  Although the specific factors are still largely unknown, the article does its best to explain the possible reasons for the early onset of cancer. First and foremost is the etiological role of risk factors to which people are exposed in early life and youth, “Since the mid-20th century, early life exposures (including factors such as diet, lifestyle, obesity, environmental exposures, and microbiota) have occurred Huge changes”. For example, weight gain, physical inactivity, Western-style diet, increased sugar intake, increased alcohol intake, increased exposure to secondhand smoke, earlier age at menarche, oral contraceptive use and reduced fertility, increased infant formula use, and decreased breastfeeding .
  A lot of data about the rejuvenation of cancer incidence reminds us to face up to it and pay attention to it as soon as possible. The increase in early-onset cancers has very large personal, social and economic implications. Young cancer patients not only suffer physical and mental pain at the most exciting age of their lives, and suffer huge economic losses at critical stages of their careers, but also have a higher risk of developing cancer again than ordinary people. In a population-based study, approximately up to 14% of young cancer patients were rediagnosed during a 30-year follow-up period, with melanoma, breast cancer, and gastrointestinal and genitourinary tumors being the most common. Additionally, survivors of early-onset cancers are at higher risk for long-term health problems, including infertility and cardiovascular disease.
  Therefore, it is hoped that young and middle-aged cancer patients will receive enough attention in the future. We can reduce the morbidity and mortality of cancer in young and middle-aged people by strengthening medical security, increasing clinical trial enrollment, expanding etiology and other basic research, and increasing the awareness of doctors and young and middle-aged groups to the early symptoms and signs of cancer.
  While cancer rejuvenation may sound “scary,” many cancers are preventable. For example, changing lifestyle and avoiding environmental hazards have a significant preventive effect on most cancers. In addition, cancer prevention requires early monitoring. Early detection and early intervention can effectively reduce cancer mortality.