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By Ackerman Cancer Center

02/25/2019

Obesity-Related Cancer Incidence Increasing in Young Adults

Obesity in young adults can lead to an increased risk of certain cancers. To reduce the risk of obesity-related cancers, it is vital for individuals, especially at younger ages, to be proactive in heart healthy activities.

Obesity is a common epidemic in the United States and can affect all age groups, including young adolescents to senior adults. Unfortunately, obesity is on the rise in the United States, up to almost 40% in comparison to 34-35%, in recent years. However, it is preventable if the importance of staying healthy and active is emphasized. In a recently published study from The Lancet Public Health Journal, researchers examined the incidence rates of 30 cancers in the United States among adults ages 25-84. Twelve of the cancers studied were obesity-related cancers.

They found startling results. An increase of cancer prevalence is found in young adults for the following cancers: multiple myeloma, colorectal, uterine, gallbladder, kidney, and pancreatic. The younger the age group, the greater the percentage increase in these obesity-related cancers. However, even with the increased risk in the younger age group, the overall incidence of these cancers is still higher in older adults.

To reduce the growing number of obesity rates, diet and exercise will play a significant role. In addition, physicians and other healthcare professionals must stress the importance of staying healthy and active in adolescent years in order to have a long and sustainable life in later years. Also, individuals should have their BMI checked regularly by their physicians, in order to reduce the risk of obesity and to keep the prevalence of cancer lowered. Parents must initiate and maintain healthy lifestyle habits in their children at an early age so that they can make the healthy choices when they are older.

By studying the prevalence of these types of cancers in young adults, it is possible to make lifestyle changes early on so that when these young adults get to older age, their cancer risk can be greatly reduced. Implementing a proper diet and exercise regime can be beneficial to a long and healthy life.

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