Monday, April 20, 2009

Is obesity responsible for the recent rise in youth cancer?

Last week the Canadian Cancer Society released its report Canadian Cancer Statistics 2009. In it they report that between 1996 and 2005 the incidence of cancer among Canadian 15 to 29 year olds rose 0.8% per year in males and 1.4% per year in females.

So the question of course is why? Why are cancer rates rising?

While I don't want to jump on the bandwagon of blaming obesity for all of society's woes certainly given the established link between obesity and cancer in adults it doesn't seem a stretch to me to wonder if it's the rising weight of Canadian youth that's leading to this rapid rise in cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society may think weight's possible culprit too given that along with the obvious recommendations of "not smoking", "eating a healthy diet", "exercising" and "wear sunscreen", is "maintaining a healthy body weight".

I imagine time will tell as data from surveys that include variables such as weight may help shed some light on this disturbing trend.

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  1. You are so correct that only time will tell and YET it is so scary to me that we have to, in effect, waitandsee huh?

    Here in the usa the obesity rates for kids are skyrocketing in a sad sad way as well.

  2. Yoni the greatest thing I learned from you was to not jump at the easy, quick answer to a complex problem. The rise in cancer rates, obesity rates and infertility rates could all be tied together without any of them being the primary source of the problem.

  3. Anonymous7:54 am

    Good grief, you might want to actually read the report before you jump to such conclusions. First, DIAGNOSIS is not the same as incidence. but examining the actual report shows that the incidences of cancers among young people has gone up and down with each year's statistics for decades, with little discernable change. Cancer is exceedingly rare in children at "just over one-half of one percent." The report states: "There has been little change in the age-standardized incidence rate for all childhood cancers combined since 1985."

  4. Anonymous7:59 am

    Hey Anony-m*ss, maybe it's your reading skills that are questionable.

    "Incidence and death rates

    * Incidence rates increased in both sexes during 1996–2005: males by 0.8 per cent per year and females by 1.4 per cent per year."

    Get a life