People are living better lives for longer than ever but an EXPLORATORY study using a computer simulation says there is reason for concern; people are getting cancer younger than ever.

The authors analyzed results of blood samples from 148,724 people ages 37 to 54 in the UK Biobank and focused on metrics 'linked' to aging, like albumin and glucose. Those nine values were put into the 'mPhenoAge algorithm to estimate biological age and that age was compared to actual age.

Are we really aging worse than previous generations? No. On the left, Elizabeth Taylor at 50. On the right, Monica Bellucci at 50. Using image epidemiology this way isn't science either. Credit

There are limitations to their work:

1. Gen X has far better medical care than prior generations so cancer is detected earlier. Colon cancer may take 15 years to become a problem and in the past it wasn't diagnosed until that point. Now unless you never go to the doctor after age 40 you have almost no chance of dying from it. Three or more polyps during a colonoscopy and they check frequently. That means diagnoses may be up a lot, but actual instances in the past are unknown.

2. The study was not cross-sectional, there were no inputs even from surveys, or longitudinal; it only involved one point in time.

3. People who take certain cancer drugs age faster so the correlation arrows may be all wrong.

4. When a study says 'linked', 'correlated', or 'suggests' it is not science and this used biological numbers that are only linked to aging and then used a computer model to estimate biological age - so that means there were two scientifically invalid methods in place.

That's why it is an "exploratory" study. It is still interesting, and may lead to something real, but it is not yet science. The only thing that will happen, since this got into corporate media, is people at the organic-industry funded Food Tank will claim 'UPFs are the reason young people are getting cancer', when more young people are not getting cancer and no one even knows what UPFs are. It is great lawyer-bait because jury trials don't need any science, they only need...epidemiology. And lots of emotions and corporate conspiracy claims, which is a lot of science in 2024.