Disturbing trend of increasing Cancer Rates in Younger generations – Colon and breast cancer rates are maximum!

Increasing Cancer Rates in Younger generations
Increasing Cancer Rates in Younger generations. Credit | Getty images

United States: It is generally believed that older people are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than younger people, as cells start changing more frequently and in different ways in older age.

Additionally, decades of lifestyles and exposures also result in some form of cancer.

As per the latest data collected from several health organizations, younger people’s count has risen, cancer-wise.

What do the recent reports say?

From the early 1990s till nowadays, the number of cancer deaths has decreased by about 4 million, which was reported per year. Yet, the fact that the young onset of cancer is stated in the American Cancer Society’s report of an increase in cancer cases in recent years is striking, including the sudden rise of colorectal and breast cancers.

As per the data from the National Cancer Institute, a grim picture has been seen over the past five years about high young cancer rates in most of the big counties of California, where Orange County is leading in the Southern California region.

High rate of young cancer cases

The cancer rate in people who are 50 and under is increasing faster in Orange County than in the other parts of the area. In addition to that, the rate here in Orange County – 98.3 out of 100,000 people of the same age group — surmounts all the other counties (San Diego, 95; San Bernardino, 93.1; Riverside, 90.3; Los Angeles, 89.6) by a significant setback.

Although the population of young individuals with cancer in all of Orange County and most of California is below the national rate of 105.2 per 100,000, it is still a matter of concern.

In short, each year, in the five-county Southern California region, 12,800 people aged 50 and below were diagnosed with some cancer. It covers around 2000 people every year in Orange County alone.

Colorectal, or colon cancer, rises among those younger than 50

Visual Representation | Credit : Shutterstock

According to Ed Kim, City of Hope Orange County’s physician-in-chief, “The more we age, the more chances you have of getting cancer,” and “Whether that’s within your own body because your cells are reproducing and there are different mutations occurring that can’t be cleared by our immune system, or whether it’s because the longer you are alive, the more exposures you have to different things in the environment.”

However, per the recent data published by the American Cancer Society, the deaths from colorectal, also known as colon, cancer have increased in American men who are younger than 50, as well as the incidence rate of breast cancer has risen among the American women who are of the younger age group.

Cancer treatments are evolving with younger cases

More cancer among young people is the reason why cancer treatment is changing.

In 2021, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent commission of medical experts associated with the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, reduced the recommended baseline age for colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 and also lowered the recommended initial age for mammograms for the year 2023.

Kim said, “When we looked at the patients that we’ve seen at City of Hope Orange County, almost 20% of those coming through the door were under the age of 50,” as ocregister.com reported.

Why are rising cancer cases among younger people?

Kim added, “Is it lifestyle exposures that we have? Is it genetics? Is it environmental factors? We know that it can definitely be diet and other things, like alcohol. But we clearly don’t have all the answers here.”

Kim also believes that there may be some local cancer-causing genetic variations that have not been discovered yet. For this reason, clinical trials and research among healthy people are needed.

She said, “I wish I could tell you there were some patterns of presentation, symptoms, or lifestyle tendencies. And we just haven’t seen that. Most people who present to us have some nonspecific symptoms.”

These symptoms include not only weight loss but also low-grade pain and discomfort.

He added, “We don’t have a pattern there yet, but the pattern that we are seeing for sure is that there are definitely younger people showing up into our cancer clinics,” as ocregister.com reported.