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Gen X cancer rates expected to surpass Baby Boomers

Gen X cancer rates expected to surpass Baby Boomers
Gen X cancer rates expected to surpass Baby Boomers

 


The number of deaths from cancer is Steady decline Over the past 30 years, the incidence of cancer has On the riseThis is especially true among members of Generation X, new research suggests.

By age 60, Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980) are projected to have a higher cancer rate than the Baby Boomer generation, or even any generation born between 1964 and 1908.

The one exception is Generation X Asian or Pacific Islander men, whose cancer rates are projected to decline, according to the report.

The findings were published this week. JAMA Network Open And then it comes out National Cancer InstituteThe cohort study was led by senior investigator Philip Rosenberg, Ph.D. Age-Period Cohort Model The projections were made by analyzing data from 3.8 million cancer patients (Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and non-Hispanic white) through the institute's cancer research database. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program.

Rosenberg says luck For him, understanding how cancer rates change across generations is a research passion: “In a way, it's about understanding history,” he says.

And he admits that the results surprised him.

“I expected that rates would be similar or even higher than those of the Baby Boomer generation, especially for colon and rectal cancer, because there's so much research published about these cancers. Early-onset colorectal cancer “But what surprised me more was the number of cancer types that our model predicted would occur in Baby Boomers and Gen Xers,” he says.

Research has shown that Gen X women have significantly higher rates of thyroid, kidney, rectal, uterine, colon, and pancreatic cancer, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia than their Baby Boomer counterparts, while Gen X men have higher rates of thyroid, kidney, rectal, colon, prostate, and leukemia.

Lung and cervical cancer rates are declining among Gen X women, and rates of lung, liver, gallbladder, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are expected to decline among Gen X men. Breast cancer rates are expected to remain roughly stable, but Rosenberg and his team are currently looking at breast cancer rates in more detail.

The study noted that “numerous preventable causes of cancer have been identified; cancer control efforts have led to substantial declines in tobacco consumption; and screening for precancerous lesions of the colon, rectum, cervix, uterus, and breast is widely accepted,” but despite this, “exposure to other carcinogens is increasing.”

According to the study, PFAS (“Forever Chemicals), processed foods, and “on the rise Obesity Rate And we have increasingly sedentary lifestyles.”

another Potential for upside The study attributes the rise in cancer incidence to changes in cancer registration policies and improvements in medical imaging technology for diagnosis, which have led to more cancer cases being counted.

The main goal of such studies, Rosenberg explains, is “to provide clues for other researchers to follow, so when something unexpected happens, they have places to look for causes of cancer and new ways to prevent it.” But he says a useful lesson for the general public is to take note of the many recommendations out there when it comes to reducing cancer risk.

“Taking time to reflect on these recommendations would be a great exercise for all of us – to really ask ourselves, 'Am I doing everything I can?'” This includes eating a healthy diet, staying active and following evidence-based advice for specific health conditions. Screening“Certainly not smoking” and drinking alcohol in moderation. “There's a lot of advice out there that people should take to heart,” he says.

But health care disparities have alarming effects on certain groups. The study notes: “The cancer mortality gap between blacks and whites narrowed after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Yet income inequality, lack of insurance, food poverty and deserts, deficiencies in the built environment, and other factors make it difficult for everyone to eat healthily and stay active. Taken together, these findings suggest that for many people in the United States, a healthy lifestyle remains, to varying degrees, an unattainable privilege rather than a fundamental right.”

The researchers had too few data points to provide estimates for millennials (born between 1981 and 1996). “Our findings raise the question of what the 72 million millennials will experience when they reach their 40s, 50s, and 60s,” the study concluded. “On current trends, cancer incidence may remain elevated for decades to come.”

That's why, Rosenberg told Fortune, “I don't think you have to be Gen X to be concerned about all the issues going on in the world today that could affect not only our health but also our children's futures.”

More about cancer:

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