Evidence from more than 100 research publications has shown that obesity increases the risk for 13 different cancers in young adults. This meta-analysis describes how obesity has shifted specific types of cancers to younger age groups, and intensified cellular mechanisms that promote the disease.
Although cancer is typically associated with adults older than age 50 years, cancers are now reported with increasing frequency in young adults. Of the 20 most common cancers in the United States, 9 are now reported in young adults. In 2016, nearly 1 in 10 new breast cancer cases and 1 in 4 new thyroid cancer cases were in young people aged 20 to 44 years, according to the review published in the journal Obesity. The data show that with obesity rising among younger demographics, cancer rates are increasing, too.