Early onset cancers


Roundup: Rates of Early-Onset Cancers Rising in Adults Under 50; Health Risks Linked to Pain After Heart-Attack Recovery; and Other News

Rates of Early-Onset Cancers in Adults Under 50 Rose ‘Substantially’ from 2010 to 2019, U.S.-Funded Study Finds

In a new study of cases from 2010 to 2019, the incidence rates of early-onset cancers “increased substantially,” researchers found. Gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing rates among all early-onset cancers, or cancers diagnosed in patients under age 50.

In the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers found that certain types of cancer are being diagnosed more often in younger adults in the U.S.,  with the increases mostly found in cancers in women and adults in their 30s.

The study’s authors: “These data will be useful for public health specialists and healthcare policy makers -- and serve as a call to action for further research into the various environmental factors that may be associated with this concerning pattern.

The findings are part of a government-funded study of 17 National Cancer Institute registries covering more than 500,000 cases of early-onset cancer between 2010 and 2019. Researchers found that, overall, early-onset cancers increased over that decade by an average of 0.28 percent each year. Rates of cancer in younger women rose an average of 0.67 percent each year, while rates decreased in men by 0.37 percent each year.

Over the 10 years studied, the rate of cancer diagnoses rose in adults in their 30s. Rates were steady, however, in other under-50 age groups. Meanwhile, the rate of cancers in adults 50 and older is decreasing.

“The increase in early-onset cancer disproportionately occurred among female individuals, American Indian or Alaska Native individuals, Asian or Pacific Islander individuals, and individuals aged 30 to 39 years,” the study’s authors state. “Further research is required to fully elucidate the reasons for these disparities.”

Gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing incidence rates among all early-onset cancer groups, the study states. There are several types of gastrointestinal cancers, each with specific risk factors, symptoms and treatment options, including anal cancer, colon cancer, appendiceal cancer, gallbladder and bile duct cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, rectal cancer, and stomach cancer.

Pain After Recovering from Heart Attack Linked to Higher Risk of Death: American Heart Association

Moderate or extreme pain after recovering from a heart attack – most commonly pain due to other health conditions and not necessarily chest pain – may help predict the likelihood of death over the next 8.5 years, states new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Nearly 45 percent of the study participants reported moderate or extreme pain one year after their heart attack. Those with moderate pain were 35 percent more likely than those with no pain to die from any cause during the study period of 8.5 years, said the American Heart Association (AHA) in a news release.

Those who reported extreme pain were more than twice as likely to die during the 8.5-year period, compared to heart attack survivors who had no pain.

The study was based on an analysis of health data for more than 18,300 adults who had a heart attack, from the Swedish quality registry called SWEDEHEART. Adults in the study were younger than 75 years of age (average age was 62, 24.5% women) and had heart attacks between 2004 to 2013.

“Pain causes significant loss of function and may lead to disability, all of which contribute to major, global public health issues," stated study author Linda Vixner, P.T., Ph.D., an associate professor of medical science at the School of Health and Welfare at Dalarna University in Falun, Sweden, in a statement. "Research indicates that pain is linked to higher risk of cardiovascular disease and overall death; however, the impact of pain on death after a heart attack has not yet been examined in large studies.”

In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds, or about 805,000 people annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, 605,000 represent first heart attacks, and 200,000 have already had a heart attack, the CDC says. About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent — meaning that the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.

Dr. Vixner adds that it’s important to “assess and recognize pain as an important risk factor of future mortality” in the months following a heart attack. Moreover, severe pain may be a potential obstacle to rehabilitation and “participation in important heart-protective activities such as regular exercise” that can help prevent another cardiovascular event, she stated.

CDC Cautions Those with Chronic Health Conditions on Staying Safe Under Extreme Heat

South Florida continues to feel extreme heat -- with the "feels-like" index over 100 degrees -- much like other parts of the nation and world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued warnings and tips for those with chronic medical conditions. That's because they are especially vulnerable to excessive heat.

Why are people with chronic medical conditions more at higher risks under extreme heat? The CDC states that they may be less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature, and they may be taking medications that can make the effect of extreme heat worse.

Moreover, conditions such as heart disease, mental illness, poor blood circulation, and obesity are risk factors for heat-related illness. Individuals who are overweight or obese tend to retain more body heat, the CDC adds.

The CDC offers the following guidelines for staying safe during extreme heat:

  • Follow these tips on how to prevent heat-related illness;
  • Keep in mind that heavy sweating can remove salt and minerals from your body. Talk to your doctor about how to safely replace salt and minerals lost through sweating;
  • Do not engage in very strenuous activities and get plenty of rest;
  • Check on a friend or neighbor, and have someone do the same for you;
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates regularly.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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