Experts from half the planet have sounded the alarm about a disturbing phenomenon. Colorectal cancer cases are decreasing in the elderly, but increasing worldwide in people under the age of 50. This rate has been growing at an “alarming” rate of 3% a year in many countries, even faster among people under 30, according to two leading experts, Kimmie Ng and Marios Giannakis, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston (USA). The cause of this increase can be seen very clearly from the daily living habits of many people today.
Colorectal cancer is the result of cancer cells forming in the lining of the colon or rectum. These cancers have much in common and are often referred to together as colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer usually begins as a benign tumor known as a polyp (93% from adenomatous polyps).
According to Vinmec International General Hospital
Colorectal cancer tends to decrease in the elderly but increases rapidly in people 20 years of age and older (Image: Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers)
Oncologist Kimmie Ng recounts what she witnesses every day in the hospital. She said: “Over the years, we’ve seen more and more very young patients with metastatic colorectal cancer, many of whom have no known genetic predisposition or risk factors. are men and women in their 20s, 30s or 40s who have had vague symptoms – like constipation or diarrhea – for many months without anyone suspecting cancer for their age.”. She therefore considers the situation “extremely disturbing” and urges the scientific community to come together to find out what is going on.
Colorectal cancer causes nearly one million deaths each year. It is the second-deadliest cancer in the world, after lung tumours. The team of Rebecca Siegal, senior scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society, warned in 2019 that cancer was on the rise in people under 50 in at least 19 countries. Among them, tumors decreased in people over 50 years old, but increased rapidly in young people, as in New Zealand (4% annual increase), United Kingdom (3.3%), Canada (2.8%) ), Australia (2.8%), United States (2.2%), Sweden (1.6%), and Germany (1.3%).
Two researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute realized that the exact reason behind this phenomenon has not been proven, but they listed the main causes that we can easily see with the naked eye. Kimmie Ng explains: “We suspect that environmental risk factors, such as diet and lifestyle, contribute to the condition. We’ve identified it. obesity, sedentary lifestyle, increased consumption of sugary drinks and vitamin D deficiency are risk factors”.
Being overweight and obese can cause changes in the body that lead to cancer. These changes include prolonged inflammation as well as increased levels of insulin, insulin-like growth factors, and sex hormones. The risk of cancer is higher when the excess weight is more and the patient is overweight for a long time, higher than the average person. In particular, there are two types of common cancers, breast cancer (in post-menopausal women) and colorectal cancer, along with three types of difficult-to-treat cancers, which are esophageal and pancreatic cancer. and gallbladder.
Theo Cancer Research UK
Fast food can lead to changes in the gut microbiome, which is suspected of causing a rapid increase in the number of young people with colorectal cancer.
Biotechnologist Cayetano Pleguezuelos at the Hubrecht Institute (Netherlands) mentions another possible cause: gut bacteria. He said: “In my opinion, the most suspicious element is the change of intestinal microbiota due to frequent consumption of fast food“. His team were the first to demonstrate a direct link between those bacteria and DNA damage in human cells that leads to cancer.
Pleguezuelos explains that fast food changes the composition of bacteria in the gut. The evidence was further bolstered when last October, a team from Yale University (USA) showed that the bacteria Morganella morganii, common in the human intestine, could be the cause of the masses. this u.
Oncologists Kimmie Ng and Marios Giannakis predict that early-onset colorectal cancer will become the major cause of cancer death among people aged 20 to 50 by 2030. Everyone should maintain a healthy lifestyle (regularly exercise, limit the use of sugary drinks and fast food…), prevent the risk of obesity, and pay attention to screening and detection of cancer. early letter from a young age.
Source and photo: El Pais (USA)