New data suggest that, from 1990 to 2019, the global incidence of early-onset cancer increased by nearly 80%, and the rate of early-onset cancer deaths increased by nearly 30%.
The greatest increases in incidence were seen for nasopharyngeal cancer and prostate cancer, and the greatest increases in death were seen for pancreatic cancer and kidney cancer. These findings were published in BMJ Oncology.
For this study, researchers analyzed data from the Global Burden of Disease 2019 database, which encompassed 29 early-onset cancers and 204 countries.
The researchers found that 3.26 million people had early-onset cancer in 2019, which was a 79.1% increase from 1990.
The early-onset cancers with the highest incidence in 2019 were breast cancer (13.7 per 100,000), non-melanoma skin cancer (12.4 per 100,000), cervical cancer (6.5 per 100,000), and colorectal cancer (5.7 per 100,000).
The early-onset cancers with the greatest annual increases in incidence (estimated annual percentage change [EAPC]) were nasopharyngeal cancer (2.28%), prostate cancer (2.23%), thyroid cancer (1.96%), kidney cancer (1.75%), and colorectal cancer (1.73%).
The early-onset cancers with the greatest annual decreases in incidence (EAPC) were liver cancer (-2.88%), esophageal cancer (-0.86%), stomach cancer (-0.84%), and laryngeal cancer (-0.71%).
The data also revealed 1.06 million deaths from early-onset cancer in 2019, which was an increase of 27.7% from 1990.
The early-onset cancers with the highest death rates in 2019 were breast cancer (3.5 per 100,000), lung/tracheal/bronchus cancers (2.8 per 100,000), colorectal cancer (2.2 per 100,000), and stomach cancer (2.2 per 100,000).
The early-onset cancers with the greatest annual increases in death (EAPC) were pancreatic cancer (1.11%), kidney cancer (0.81%), ovarian cancer (0.59%), and lip and oral cavity cancers (0.58%).
The early-onset cancers with the greatest annual decreases in death (EAPC) were liver cancer (-3.39%), stomach cancer (-1.78%), Hodgkin lymphoma (-1.73%), leukemia (-1.44%), and nasopharyngeal cancer (-1.44%).
The researchers noted that regions with a middle or high-middle sociodemographic index had the greatest burden of early-onset cancers, and lifestyle elements are playing a key role in the risk of early-onset cancers.
“Dietary risk factors (diet high in red meat, low in fruits, high in sodium and low in milk, etc), alcohol consumption and tobacco use are the main risk factors underlying early-onset cancers,” the researchers wrote.
Zhao J, Xu L, Sun J, et al. Global trends in incidence, death, burden and risk factors of early-onset cancer from 1990 to 2019. BMJ Oncol. Published online September 5, 2023. doi:10.1136/bmjonc-2023-000049
This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor