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HomeHealthScientists fear “an emerging global epidemic” of cancers in people under 50

Scientists fear “an emerging global epidemic” of cancers in people under 50

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[EN VIDÉO] Cancer: from theory to practice
Futura-Sciences met Norbert Vey, clinician at the Paoli-Calmettes Institute in Marseille, to better understand how doctors approach advances in theoretical research to benefit patients.

Cancers in young individuals, under the age of 50, have increased worryingly according to a recent study published in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. A group of scientists led by Harvard University has drawn up a long list of 14 different cancer families whose incidence increased in people under 50 between 2000 and 2012.

We have calculated that this risk increases with each generation. For example, people born in 1960 have a greater risk of getting cancer before their 50th birthday than those born in 1950, and we predict that this risk will continue to increase in future generations. », Explain suji oginophysician and member of the research team.

The suspected lifestyle and diet

According to Harvard scientists, this disturbing trend, to the point that it is suspected to be a ” emerging global epidemic », would take root in the way of life and the western diet which has prevailed in many countries around the world. The exposome, that is to say all the factors to which we are exposed during our life and which influence our health, changed from the middle of the 20e century.

Of the 14 rising types of cancer we studied, eight were related to the digestive system. Our diet feeds the microorganisms in our intestines. Diet directly affects the composition of the microbiota and in the end, these changes can influence the risk of disease “, says Tomotaka Ugai, researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and first author of the study.

The study highlights a global phenomenon, but at the individual level, it is difficult to know what external factor to which an individual is exposed at the beginning of his life is at the origin of cancer many years later. To find out, prospective studies that follow children into adulthood are needed. Scientists conclude that ” improving the environment in early life should be an immediate goal: this could reduce the burden of early and late cancers “.

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