Cancer is Increasing in Millennials. Should You Worry?

Cancer is Increasing in Millennials. Should You Worry?

Cancer is always a health concern, especially as the years go by. But a recent study suggests that some forms are dramatically increasing in younger people.

A study published in the Lancet Public Health from the American Cancer Society examined 20 years of cancer diagnoses data in adults aged 25 to 84, and found an upswing of cancer rates in people between ages 25-49.

Most were obesity-related; six types in particular showed the biggest spikes in numbers in young people. The cancers are colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, pancreatic, and multiple myeloma. These are ailments that typically show in people in their 60s and 70s until now.

Americans aged 25 to 29 had the greatest increases in kidney cancer, with an average annual increase of 6.23%. People aged 30 to 34 had the largest increase in multiple myeloma, at 2.21%.

It begs the question – what’s causing the higher cancer rates in young people?


The study didn’t delve into the topic specifically, but it did hypothesize that the numbers could be the result of the rise in overweight and obese Americans.

The CDC says that between 1999 and 2016, obesity prevalence rose from 13.9% to 18.5% among children and adolescents and from 30.5% to 39.6% among adults. This could correlate to the increase in cancer rates, as obesity is a known risk for certain cancers.

Related: These 3 Habits Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk

Another study in 2018 found excess body weight could have accounted for up to 60% of all endometrial cancers, 36% of gallbladder cancers, 33% of kidney cancers, 17% of pancreatic cancers, and 11% of multiple myelomas that occurred in 2014.

Should millennials be worried?

You should take preventive measures at the very least. Clearly, you should be mindful of your weight and health, since cancer related to obesity saw the largest increases.

You’ve heard it before – maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet, and get regular exercise to limit your risk of cancer—no matter what your age is.

Photo Credit: New Africa/; Sasa Prudkov/

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