June 20, 2023
June 20, 2023

Is Early-Onset Cancer an Emerging Global Epidemic?

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Is Early-Onset Cancer an Emerging Global Epidemic?

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital authored a journal article suggesting that early-onset cancer is becoming an emerging global epidemic.

At Ezra we clearly believe in screening younger individuals. My main concern before joining Ezra was my steadfast belief in evidence-based guidelines that supported cancer screening for people 45 and older. And practicing evidence-based medicine was at the core of my education as a medical student and later as a resident and attending physician.

But it is clear that the evidence of earlier cancer screening is evolving. Two years ago the guidelines for the start of colon cancer screening was changed from 50 to 45 years old. Breast cancer screening was initially recommended at 40 years old then changed to 50 years old and now, 1 month ago, back to 40 years old. Talk about evolving! Clearly there is a dramatic rise in cancer in people under 50 years old and cancer screening needs to evolve.

Here are the main points of the journal article:

  • Since the 1990’s early-onset cancers, often defined as cancers diagnosed in adults <50 years of age, in the breast, colorectal, endometrium, esophagus, extrahepatic bile duct, gallbladder, head and neck, kidney, liver, bone marrow, pancreas, prostate, stomach and thyroid has been rising in many parts of the world.
  • In an extensive review, the team found that the early life “exposome,” which encompasses an individual’s diet, lifestyle, weight, environmental exposures, and microbiome, has changed substantially in the last several decades.
  • They hypothesize that factors like the Western diet and lifestyle may be contributing to the rise in early onset cancer.
  • This increased incidence of certain cancers is, in part, due to early detection through cancer screening programs. They couldn’t precisely measure what proportion of this growing prevalence could solely be attributed to screening and early detection. However, they noted that increased incidence of many of the 14 cancer types is unlikely due to enhanced screening alone.
  • The early-onset cancer epidemic might be one manifestation of increasing trends in the development of many chronic diseases in young and future generations
  • They predict that this risk level will continue to climb in successive generations.

What Does This Mean to Me?

Peter Attia uses the term “evidence informed.” And the work we are doing at Ezra is exactly that – Evidence Informed.

We see the trends and we are evolving our practice faster than the guidelines.   We are also moving into the era of precision/personalized medicine where medical decisions, practices, interventions and/or products are tailored to the individual person.  The longitudinal data our members collect with each successive scan is just that- their own precision health database.  In my many years of taking care of patients I have learned that healthcare is not a one-size fits all.  I’ve seen the same disease or treatment manifest in different ways in different people.

With the launch of Flash we are offering early detection of cancer and personalized health ensuring a better and more favorable prognosis and outcome.  We are making screening of some of the most common cancers accessible to more people.  We are helping people. We are saving lives. We are being innovative. We are staying true to our mission.

You can make an informed choice with an Ezra full body MRI scan. It's simple, easy, and could be life-changing. Don't wait for symptoms, take control today. Because in the fight against cancer, early detection is your strongest ally. 

Book your scan today online or schedule a call with our team to learn more / Contact us at (888) 402-3972 or hello@ezra.com.