Obesity enhances the risk of cancer risk in the young adult

In a sweeping study covering two-thirds of the US population researchers showed that half a dozen cancers for which obesity is a known risk factor became more frequent from 1995 to 2015 among women and men under 50

In a sweeping study covering two-thirds of the US population researchers showed that half a dozen cancers for which obesity is a known risk factor became more frequent from 1995 to 2015 among women and men under 50

A steep rise in obesity over the past four decades may have increased the cancer risk for younger Americans, a new report led by the American Cancer Society says.

While absolute numbers of cancer cases are still much higher in the elderly, researchers warned that faster increases in the young could be storing up serious problems as an unhealthy generation gets older.

An observational study using data covering more than half of the USA population suggests that incidence rates of cancers linked to obesity are increasing most rapidly in young adults.

The analysis showed that cancer incidence is rising in young adults for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancers: colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, multiple myeloma, and pancreas. But this study found that there was a significant increase of these cancers in young adults in the US.

The study, released Monday by the American Cancer Society, found that the risk of cancer is increasing in young adults for half of all obesity-related cancers.

The obesity epidemic is driving a surge in the number of young people diagnosed with obesity-related cancers that threatens to reverse decades of progress in lowering cancer deaths, according to a new study.

The researchers then estimated the change in incidence rates for each of the cancers within five-year age groups, beginning with 25-29 and ending with 80-84.

During the period examined, the incidence of pancreatic cancer, for example, increased by about one percent per year for adults aged 45 to 49.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: "There was a time when Type 2 diabetes used to be considered a mid-life disease triggered by our obesity epidemic".

While the study did not focus on the specific causes of the increases in these cancer rates, it did hypothesize that the trends may be influenced by the rise in overweight and obese Americans.

The younger the age bracket, the more quickly these cancers gained ground, they reported in The Lancet, the medical journal.

Although screening for most of these cancers isn't available or useful for younger patients, colon cancer is an exception, Jemal said. They cite figures which show that the prevalence of obesity or being overweight increased by more than 100 percent (from 14.7 percent to 33.4 percent) between 1980 and 2014 among US children and adolescents. These changes include genetic flags and markers - epigenetic modifications - that increase cancer risk and may remain long after weight loss.

Excess weight may promote cancer in several ways.

Two thirds of Britons are now overweight and more than a quarter of the population is obese.

UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) did not show similar increases. That, he said, should be a wake-up call for doctors, policy makers and the public, especially when it comes to childhood obesity.

"Obesity during childhood actually is a major predictor of adult obesity", Chang said, "I think it highlights the importance of reducing the rates of obesity through better diet, better and more exercise".