A new study has been published in the European Journal of Cancer which, starting from data from the European Cancer Registries, has studied adult cancers that emerge before the age of 30.
Ghislaine Scelo, Milena Maule and Lorenzo Richiardi have just published an article in the European Journal of Cancer (EJC) in which they analyze data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) and collected in volumes XI and Plus of Cancer in five Continents.
The study identifies 14 cancers that emerge, with non-negligible frequencies, before the age of 30. Nine of them showed significant increases over time, often more pronounced in 20-29 year olds than in 30-39 or 40-49 year olds, although the risk of developing cancer still increases with cancer. age. The increase in colon cancer rates between 20 and 29 years is particularly high.
Cancer prevention efforts are notoriously focused on lifestyle and exposure in adulthood, as well as early detection through participation in screening programs.
The recent "12 ways to reduce cancer risk" campaign of the European Code Against Cancer (see the dedicated section on this website) includes only two specific recommendations for exposures that occur before adulthood: "Avoid too much sun, especially for children" and "Make sure that your children take part in vaccination programs against Hepatitis B (for newborns) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) (for girls)".
Well, the study that has just appeared in EJC postulates that the etiology of part of adult cancers could begin well before adulthood and clinically manifest decades later and that new prevention efforts should be targeted at the young age groups, identifying factors of risk acting at an early age.
Cancers emerging in early adulthood are not limited to the most common types of adolescent cancer, including cancers typical of more advanced ages such as breast, colon and head and neck cancers. Most of them show increasing rates in early adulthood.
When we consider that the trends observed for younger generations somehow predict trends for future generations, it becomes important to identify the causes of cancer that occur before adulthood to enable primary prevention dedicated to the early stages of life.