Why are cancer people getting younger and younger?

Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, and substance abuse increase the risk of disease, while many people are conscious of cancer screening, so the disease should be detected at an early stage.

Vietnam is one of the countries with a high rate of cancer in the world and the age trend is “rejuvenating”. In addition to liver and lung cancer, hospitals receive many cases of breast cancer in young people – a disease that used to be common in middle age.

Like a 34-year-old man who has just come to K Hospital (Hanoi) due to anorexia, pain in the right lower quadrant… Doctor Ha Hai Nam, Deputy Head of Abdominal Surgery 1, diagnosed a patient with stage liver cancer. late stage, the tumor is 6-8 cm large and many small tumors around, the prognosis is severe. Receiving the diagnosis results, the patient was shocked, because his father also died of cancer. Difficult to accept this result, the patient requested the test again for fear of confusion.

Many other young patients are unknowingly finding cancer during a general check-up. Like the man above, most do not accept the initial diagnosis because they are surprised and think that their age is young.

Explaining the younger age of cancer, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Cam Phuong, Director of the Center for Nuclear Medicine and Oncology, Bach Mai Hospital said. advanced medical level, level of interest in health of the population also increased. Therefore, there are many cases of cancer detected at a very young age through early screening.

In particular, liver cancer is currently the number one disease in terms of both morbidity and mortality among all cancers in Vietnam. In addition, the signs of liver cancer are very faint. Most patients who come to the hospital are diagnosed with liver cancer at an advanced stage, or late. Only about 10-20% of cases come to the clinic at a stage where surgical intervention is still possible, mainly due to accidental visits to the doctor for other diseases, new biopsies to detect cancer.

Lung cancer is in second place after liver cancer with about 26,000 new cases and 23,000 deaths each year. 75% of lung cancer patients in our country are diagnosed at a late stage. As a 25-year-old female patient with weakness of left half of her body, convulsions, was admitted to Bach Mai hospital to find stage 4 brain metastatic lung cancer. The patient had no symptoms such as fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, cough. bleeding …, family history is also not abnormal.

Breast cancer also has a high rate of young patients. Previously, the disease was mainly seen in people over 50 years old, now there are cases over 30 years old. The recommended age for screening for stomach, esophageal and colorectal cancer is now from 40 to 45 years old, instead of over 60 years old as before.

Besides, Early exposure to carcinogens leading to an increase in the incidence of the disease among young people. According to Dr. Ha Hai Nam, Deputy Head of the Department of Abdominal Surgery I (K Hospital), there are three main cancer-causing agents including: Physical agents (radiation rays, sunlight…); chemical agents (dyes…); biological agents (HP bacteria, hepatitis B…) in alcohol, food. A sedentary lifestyle, sitting in an office, relying on computers and phones, going to bed late also affects health. Unhealthy diet low in fruits and vegetables, high in protein, high in salt… Smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, abusing stimulants… is also the cause of the increasing incidence of the disease.

As a precaution, doctors recommend reducing all risk factors. For example, if your family has a father and brother with colon cancer, stomach cancer or a mother, aunt or uncle has breast cancer, you need to get screened early. This is a group with a higher risk of cancer than others. The milestone of cancer screening is after the age of 30. Obese people have a higher risk of cancer than the general population and are responsible for about 20% of cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colorectal, and liver. , ovarian, postmenopausal breast cancer…

Doctors recommend that young people have a healthy lifestyle, increase exercise and balanced nutrition. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day to strengthen the body’s resistance. Limiting alcohol, not smoking can also reduce the risk of disease. Avoid eating fatty, spicy or moldy foods; increase fruits, vegetables and vitamins. Vaccination against certain infections such as hepatitis B and C and HPV vaccination prevents cervical cancer.

Thuy An


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