A new study shows that cancer is on the rise across the globe and that’s mostly caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
A new study has some concerning results for people under the age of 50. It suggests that cancer is on the rise for this demographic and that the problem is global, affecting most countries.
The study, published in the journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology and conducted by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, shows that since the 1990s, a variety of cancers including breast, colon, kidney, and more, are on the rise for people under the age of 50. The research suggests that a sedentary lifestyle and bad diet are responsible for these developments.
Study authors conducted an analysis of a variety of data that showed the importance of people’s diet, lifestyle, weight, environmental exposure, and microbiome — factors that have all dramatically shifted over the years.
“Each successive group of people born at a later time have a higher risk of developing cancer later in life, likely due to risk factors they were exposed to at a young age,” said Dr. Shuji Ogino, a professor and physician-scientist in the Department of Pathology at the Brigham.
Ogino said that this risk of early onset cancer is predicted to increase with every new generation, mostly due to people partaking in behaviors that are cancer risk factors and our culture’s reinforcement of these. Highly processed foods, alcohol consumption, sleeping less, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and more, have all been on the rise since the 1950s.
Researchers didn’t go into any specific cancer that has become more common over the years. Instead, they focused on the fact that people are less healthy that in years past, thus being more at risk of cancer. They claim that in order to paint a clearer picture for future generations, it’s important for studies on cancer to include young children, tracking their health and development over longer periods of time.
Said Dr. Ogino, “This is not only more cost effective considering the many cancer types needed to be studied, but I believe it will yield us more accurate insights into cancer risk for generations to come.”