Nearly 90,000 young Americans will receive cancer diagnosis this year, study projects

An estimated 89,500 young Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and 9,270 will die, according to a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 

Researchers analyzed population‐based cancer incidence and mortality for people ages 15 to 39 by age, sex and race or ethnicity. 

Overall, cancer rates increased among young Americans between 2007 and 2016. The increase is largely fueled by a rise in thyroid cancer, which jumped about 3 percent annually for people ages 20-39 and 4 percent annually among people ages 15-19, according to researchers. 

Cancer mortality fell 1 percent annually between 2008 and 2017 across all ages, but death rates remained stable for women ages 30 to 39 due to a slowing decline in breast cancer cases, the researchers said. 

The report also highlights racial disparities in cancer incidence and mortality. For example, breast cancer rates were 14 percent higher among Black women than white women, and cancer deaths were also higher among black patients.

“Progress in reducing cancer morbidity and mortality among [adolescents and young adults] could be addressed through more equitable access to healthcare, increasing clinical trial enrollment, expanding research and greater alertness among clinicians and patients for early symptoms and signs of cancer,” the researchers concluded.

View the full study here.

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