Why Gen X is getting cancer more often than their parents’ generation

More bad news for Generation X – a new study finds that the Forgotten Generation is being diagnosed with more cancers than their parents’ and grandparents’ generations in America.

“Our results speak to an incidence rate per 100,000 people,” the researchers said Publication on Monday.

“According to our predictions and analysis, Generation X has more cancer than their parents. They are outpacing both baby boomers and the silent generation in the incidence of leading cancers combined.”

The researchers analyzed the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases among Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), the Baby Boom generation (1946 to 1964) and the Silent Generation (1928 to 1945).

The study, conducted by biostatisticians in the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, was published Monday in JAMA Open Network.

“We were surprised by the significant increases we found in Generation X compared to Baby Boomers and their proxies,” the authors wrote in their findings.

The researchers found that public health initiatives have led to “significant reductions” in smoking, while screening tests can detect colon, rectal, cervical, uterine and breast cancer early.

“However, other suspected carcinogenic exposures are increasing,” the researchers reported.

They said it seemed likely that part of the rise could be attributed to rising obesity rates and increasingly sedentary lifestyles. They also acknowledged that more cancer cases may be being recorded these days due to improvements in medical imaging and changes in cancer registry policies.

They are calling for more research into the modern causes of cancer.

In their study of 3.8 million cancer patients, the researchers found that there was a decrease in lung cancer and cervical cancer among Gen X women, but also a “significant increase” in thyroid, kidney, rectal, endometrial, colon, and rectal cancers. , pancreatic and ovarian, non-Hodgkin’s diseases. lymphoma and leukemia.

Among Gen X men, declines in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung, liver, and gallbladder cancers were offset by increases in thyroid, kidney, rectal, colon, and prostate cancers, and leukemia.

The researchers reported that they have “insufficient data points” to make estimates for millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), although they are concerned about how cancer will affect this generation as they enter their 40s, 50s and 60s. .

“On the one hand, our analysis suggests that millennial stepparents experience as much or more cancer than Generation X stepparents,” the researchers wrote.

“This increase is alarming because of the combined lifestyle factors that predispose to cancer and exposure. On the other hand, thanks to global investment in cancer research, there are tremendous opportunities to prospectively reduce the future burden of cancer among millennials.”

The authors of the study say that reducing the use of tobacco and alcohol, increasing physical activity, improving eating habits and encouraging breastfeeding can reduce the risk of cancer.

If people do not take preventive measures, the researchers warn, “the incidence of cancer in the United States could remain unacceptably high for decades to come.”

This article was originally published on the NY Post and has been reproduced with permission

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