(HealthDay News) — Early-onset cancer morbidity is continuing to increase worldwide, according to a study published online in BMJ Oncology.

Jianhui Zhao, from Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China, and colleagues explored the global burden of early-onset cancer based on the Global Burden of Disease 2019 study. Incidence, deaths, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and risk factors were analyzed for 29 early-onset cancer groups.

The researchers found that from 1990 to 2019, there was a 79.1% increase in the global incidence of early-onset cancer and a 27.7% increase in the number of early-onset cancer deaths. The highest mortality and DALYs in 2019 were seen for early-onset breast, tracheal, bronchus and lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers. Globally, the fastest increasing trend was seen for incidence rates of early-onset nasopharyngeal and prostate cancer, while the sharpest decrease was seen for early-onset liver cancer. For both men and women, early-onset colorectal cancers had high DALYs within the top 5 ranking. The highest burden of early-onset cancer was seen for high-middle and middle sociodemographic index regions. The projections indicated that in 2030, the global number of incidence and deaths of early-onset cancer would increase by 31% and 21%, respectively. The main risk factors underlying early-onset cancers were dietary risk factors, alcohol consumption, and tobacco use.

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“Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy diet, the restriction of tobacco and alcohol consumption, and appropriate outdoor activity, could reduce the burden of early-onset cancer,” the authors write.

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