Rising Cases of Cancer Among Young Indians: A Growing Concern

Cancer was previously believed to be a disease that primarily affected older individuals, but now cases of cancer are being observed in younger people as well.
Rising Cases of Cancer Among Young Indians: A Growing Concern
Rising Cases of Cancer Among Young Indians: A Growing ConcernImage Credit: Freepik

Cancer was previously believed to be a disease that primarily affected older individuals, but now cases of cancer are being observed in younger people as well.

Several studies have shown that cancer is gradually increasing among young Indians. A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2023 noted that cases of cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer are on the rise in India.

It also found that, globally, there has been a 79 per cent increase in new cancer cases among people under the age of 50 over the past 30 years.

What Are the Reasons for Increasing Cancer in Youth?

1. Lifestyle

One of the major reasons for the rising cases of cancer is our modern lifestyle. Obesity, which is becoming a growing epidemic among Indian youth, is a cause of 15 different types of cancer. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are also contributing factors to the development of cancer.

2. Genetic Factors

If someone in the family has had cancer, there is a risk of developing cancer at a young age. About 5-10% of cancers in young people are due to genetic factors.

3. Nutritional Deficiencies in Diet

Most young people today consume processed foods, which lack essential nutrients. A deficiency in these nutrients can have a detrimental effect on overall health, increasing the risk of cancer.

4. Other Contributing Factors

In addition to lifestyle, genetic predisposition, and poor nutrition, other factors such as environmental exposure to carcinogens, lack of physical activity, and chronic infections can also contribute to the rising incidence of cancer among youth.

It is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, to reduce the risk of cancer.

Regular medical check-ups and awareness about early signs of cancer can also aid in timely detection and treatment.

Understanding Cancer in Young Adults

The rising number of cancer cases among young people is alarming for several reasons. One significant issue is that cancer screening programs are primarily designed for older adults.

Often, young individuals do not exhibit the traditional symptoms of cancer, making early detection difficult.

Speaking to the Indian Express, Dr. Pakhee Agarwal from Apollo Hospital noted that cancer in young adults tends to be more aggressive and its pattern is often unpredictable, making treatment more challenging.

Doctors also point out that our diet can act as a double-edged sword when it comes to cancer. Consuming large amounts of processed foods and red meat increases the risk of colon cancer. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins is essential.

Furthermore, a sedentary lifestyle combined with poor dietary habits significantly increases the risk of cancer. To mitigate this risk, it is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle, engage in regular physical exercise, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol consumption.

Rising Cases of Cancer Among Young Indians: A Growing Concern
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