February 27, 2019 – Younger People and Cancer


Anchor lead: Cancer is on the rise among younger people, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Cancer diagnoses are rising among 25 to 49 year olds, a recent study reported, and that’s bad news all around. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says specific types of cancer account for the majority.

Nelson: We’re now seeing younger people get several of these cancers, in particular colorectal cancer, gall bladder cancer, kidney cancer, pancreas cancer, multiple myeloma, at younger ages and we’re talking 25 to 49 years old. Keep in mind for all these cancers most people who get them are still older. It’s just that the cancer in this age group which is a small collection of people we really didn’t see much at all, now we’re starting to see it and they are these obesity related cancers.  :28

Nelson says the agenda for prevention is clear – getting our arms around our obesity problem is both a national and international priority, and not just for cancer prevention but for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease. He says for now, screening efforts to detect these cancers early are not likely to be helpful as they are still infrequent in younger people. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.