As medical care has improved, doctors are able to screen for cancer earlier than ever, and that is why cancer cases in young adults and adolescents are prevalent enough that they can be considered a distinct population.
Age remains the biggest factor for everything, of course, if you live long enough you are going to get cancer of some kind, it is built into our biology, but the increase in screening and therefore diagnoses means young adults can be considered distinct from pediatric and adult cancers and have their own middle ground for research.
An analysis of adolescents and young adults between 1973 and 2015 resulted in 497,452 cancer patients in the United States between 15 and 39 years old. Diagnoses increased from 57 to 74 per 100,000 young adults. An increase in diagnoses of 29.6 percent. For males, the most common cancers were similar to adults, with testicular, melanoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma while females were breast, thyroid, cervical, and uterine cancers. But earlier diagnoses led to detecting kidney, thyroid, and gastrointestinal cancers as well. Both males and female had greatest increases in kidney carcinoma.
Culture, led by journalism, fixates on the teleological so if X happens they want to believe it occurred due to the Y they already dislike but science shows cancer does not work that way. While obesity and smoking are clear risk factors for cancer, we often get a muddy picture of environmental causes, with epidemiologists writing weekly papers statistically correlating to cancer to nearly any food or chemical. Cancer's greatest risk factor is still age and the second greatest risk factor in young people will be the one epidemiologists were last to accept; heredity.
So because there is a rise in kidney and thyroid diagnoses doesn't just mean we are catching them earlier, ideal for treatment, but also that we can really hone in on their unique risk factors, and stay away from the usual food frequency questionnaire data dredging that has led to so much distrust a chunk of the public are skeptical when epidemiologists claim masks work for preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Young Adults Are A Distinct Cancer Population
By News Staff | December 4th 2020 02:19 PM | Print | E-mail
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