In a shocking discovery, a recent study has brought attention to a massive 79 percent rise in newly diagnosed cancer cases among people under the age of 50 worldwide over the last thirty years.
The global incidence of early-onset cancer diagnoses has risen from 1.82 million cases in 1990 to 3.26 million cases in 2019, representing a significant increase. Additionally, there has been a 27% increase in cancer-related deaths among individuals in their 40s, 30s, or younger.
According to the study, over a million people under the age of 50 succumb to cancer annually.
“The global incidence of early-onset cancer increased by 79.1%, and the number of early-onset cancer deaths increased by 27.7% between 1990 and 2019. Early-onset breast, tracheal, bronchus, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers showed the highest mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 2019,” the authors of the study wrote.
The scientists responsible for the research, published in BMJ Oncology, have suggested that the rise in the number of cases can likely be attributed to various factors, including inadequate dietary habits, alcohol and tobacco consumption, a lack of physical activity, and obesity.
“Since 1990, the incidence and deaths of early-onset cancers have substantially increased globally,” the report says. “Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, the restriction of tobacco and alcohol consumption, and appropriate outdoor activity, could reduce the burden of early-onset cancer.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancers are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical, and thyroid cancers are the most common among women.