CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Along with heart health month, February is also National Cancer Prevention Month. The American Cancer Society estimates the U.S. will see 1.9 million new cases of cancer and more than 600,000 deaths this year.
According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second-most common cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease.
Some researchers have found that cancer diagnoses are rising in young people. This leaves many people wondering what's causing all those new cases and if it's preventable.
Are more individuals under the age of 50 being diagnosed with cancer?
Yes, there are more individuals under the age of 50 diagnosed with cancer.
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WHAT WE FOUND
A study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital looked at 14 types of cancers. They found starting in 1990, people under the age of 50 were being diagnosed with cancer more than ever before.
It's a trend that has continued over the past decade. Kamath said he's also picked up on the troubling pattern.
"It's a very concerning trend for sure and one we see in clinics all the time," Kamath said. "If you look at my clinic schedule and I just scan through the ages of patients coming in, there are a lot more people in their 20s and 30s than there were in the past."
The study found many factors can contribute to why more younger people are getting cancer. One may be because people are getting screened at a younger age. Researchers found lifestyle and obesity can also be a cause.
According to the CDC, obesity rates have climbed over the last 60 years. In the 1960s, fewer than 14% of individuals had a body mass index of over 30, which is the threshold for obesity. In 2020, those figures were closer to 40%.
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