Obesity rates in children have been rising for years, and the consequences of that extra weight may be showing up in cancer cases.
A new review found that certain cancers associated with people over 50 now affect people at younger ages more frequently. And obesity may be to blame.
Of the 20 most common cancers in the United States, the study found that nine are occurring in young adults. Approximately one in four new thyroid cancers were diagnosed in people aged 20 to 44, and about one in 10 new breast cancer cases occurred in that same age group, the researchers reported.
The researchers can’t prove cause and effect. Still, the findings highlight the critical need for obesity prevention. “There are probably 140,000 cases of obesity-related cancers a year. This is a big issue,” Berger said.
Experts generally agree that 13 cancers have clear ties to obesity. The current study found that nine of these 13 cancers are increasing in younger people. The nine cancers and the percentage of new cases in people from 20 to 44 include:
# Breast cancer — 10.5 percent,
# Colon and rectal cancer — 5.8 percent,
# Kidney cancer — 7.8 percent,
# Endometrial cancer — 7.3 percent,
# Thyroid cancer — 23.9 percent,
# Liver cancer — 2.5 percent,
# Gastric cardia (cancer at the top of the stomach) — 6.2 percent,
# Meningioma (cancer in the lining of the brain and spinal cord) — 16.8 percent,
# Ovarian cancer — 10.6 percent.
Source: HealthDay News