Cancers related to obesity are on a steep rise among millennials, a new study by the American Society has found.
Researchers warned that in six out of 12 obesity-related cancers (colorectal, uterine, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and multiple myeloma), the number of cases went up in people under the age of 50. They added that the trend could set back the recent progress that has been made on cancer.
Millennials At Risk Of Obesity-Related Cancer
The researchers arrive at the conclusion after they studied public data on invasive cancer among individuals ages 25 to 84 years from 1995 to 2014. They found that the most significant rise of obesity-related cancers is among the 25-49 age group, particularly in millennials who are in their 20s and 30s.
While the researchers also found an increase in the number of new cases among baby boomers (people over the age of 50), the rise was not as steep or significant. For example, the risk of colorectal, uterine, and gallbladder cancers among millennials is double the rate baby boomers had at the same age.
The researchers believe that the increase is tied to the prevalence of obesity in the country and among young people.
"Our findings expose a recent change that could serve as a warning of an increased burden of obesity-related cancers to come in older adults," stated Ahmedin Jemal of the American Cancer Society. "Most cancers occur in older adults, which means that as the young people in our study age, the burden of obesity-related cancer cases and deaths are likely to increase even more."
On the bright side, the study also found that the cancers linked to smoking and infections have decreased among the youth.
The findings were published in the journal The Lancet.
Addressing The Rise Of Obesity-Related Cancers
The other cancers associated with obesity are thyroid, (postmenopausal) breast, ovarian, upper stomach, meningioma, and liver cancers. The researchers warned that the risk of getting these diseases rises as people gain more weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, about 630,000 American adults were diagnosed with cancer linked to overweight and obesity across the United States. About two out of three cases occurred in adults who are 50 to 74 years old.