New Delhi, September 11
Drastic changes in early life among adolescents and young adults in diet, lifestyle, obesity, environment and microbiome have led to a ‘true rise’ in the incidence of early forms of several cancers around the world, new research from Nature has warned.
Over the past few decades, the incidence of early cancers, often defined as cancers diagnosed in adults under 50 years of age, of the breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, extra-biliary tract liver, gallbladder, head and neck, kidney, liver, bone marrow, pancreas, prostate, stomach and thyroid increased in several countries.
Evidence suggests an etiological role of risk factor exposures in early life and early adulthood,” said the global study published in the journal Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, led by researchers from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston.
Since the mid-20th century, substantial multigenerational changes in the exposome have occurred (including changes in diet, lifestyle, obesity, environment, and microbiome, all of which may interact with genomic and/or genetic susceptibilities).
The incidence of cancers of various organs diagnosed in adults under the age of 50 has increased in many parts of the world since the 1990s.
“The early cancer epidemic may be a manifestation of the growing trends in the development of many chronic diseases in young and future generations,” the researchers wrote.
They emphasized that raising awareness of the early cancer epidemic and improving the early childhood environment should be our immediate goals.
“These are likely to reduce the burden of early and late cancers,” they added.
Investigating early exposures and their implications for multiple cancer types will require prospective cohort studies with dedicated biobanking and data collection technologies, the research notes. IANS