The incidence of tumors has globally increased by roughly 80% in the last 30 years, despite the significant technological breakthroughs in the medical and scientific field, which allow today a rapid and precise diagnosis of severe and/or rare diseases. In fact, a very recent research study in the oncology journal, BMJ Oncology, reports an 80% rise worldwide in the incidence of cancer. The diffusion of this disease has resulted in over 3.26 million cases of cancer over the past 30 years. Unfortunately, there is also an early onset, affecting individuals under the age of 50, and this is supported by data reported in 204 nations between 1990 and 2019. Theoretically, a cancer diagnosis is defined as "early onset" if it happens between the ages of 14 and 49.
Breast cancer, which constitutes about 16.5% of these cases, is the most prevalent tumour, followed by prostate and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Although the mentioned data is very alarming, we shouldn't be shocked. Cancer is a complex disease, as in fact , in addition to genetic predisposition, environmental factors and lifestyle can have an impact on its development. Today, cancer is more accurately defined as a genetic environmental disease. Based on the accessibility of medical care, researchers have unquestionably observed considerable disparities in tumor incidence among nations. It makes sense that effective and preventative screening have reduced the number of cases and deaths. However, the study concludes that the aforementioned rise in cases in younger patients is caused by dietary factors.
Poor diet, alcohol and tobacco use, physical inactivity, and obesity would play an important synergistic role.
Another important factor to take into account is the environmental contamination level. The quality of the environment has a big impact on how chronic diseases, like tumors, grow, but it also influences early-onset epigenetic processes. Additionally, environmental pollutants, when accumulated in a person’s body, can interfere with medical treatments, thereby ultimately leading to an increase in deaths.
Professor Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., is the Founder and President of the Sbarro Health Research Organization, located at Temple University's College of Science and Technology in Philadelphia. Stay connected with him through his social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, to receive the latest updates.