Younger Adults Are Being Diagnosed With Cancer More Than Ever Before—Here’s What to Know

As the population continues to age, it is unfortunately becoming increasingly more common for younger adults to also develop cancer. People between the ages of 25 to 39 are being diagnosed with cancer with alarming frequency.

The most common cancers reported in younger adults are breast cancer in women, colorectal cancer, skin cancer (melanoma) and thyroid cancer. In men, most common are colorectal, melanoma, testicular, prostate and lung cancers. Experts suggest that as many as one in three young adults will develop a malignant tumor in their lifetime.

Genetic mutations are the leading cause of cancers in young adults. Some of these mutations are inherited, while others can be caused by environmental factors such as smoking, exposure to UV radiation, a diet high in fat and other lifestyle factors. Age also plays a role in cancer incidence; as the life expectancy increases, so too does the likelihood of developing a malignant tumor.

Upon diagnosis, the treatment and prognosis for younger adults is often less favorable than for older individuals. Studies indicate that the use of chemotherapy is the standard treatment, however, younger age brackets tend to respond poorly, due to their relative lack of biological maturity.

It is important for young adults to recognize the symptoms of cancer, as well as the risk factors inherent in certain areas of life such as diet, lifestyle and environmental factors. Early detection and treatment are key to improving the survival rate in this vulnerable segment. Preserving the health of young adults should be the goal of society as a whole, and so regular checkups are crucial.

The changing landscape of cancer diagnoses and subsequent treatment in younger adults is concerning, however, with awareness and early detection, the prognosis can be much improved.

By admin