Why Are Cancer Rates Among Young People Steadily Increasing? What Factors Should We Be Concerned With



Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Dr. David Wilcox.

Health Transparency: The Real Truth with Dr. David Wilcox 

Cancer rates among young people are increasing at alarming rates. From 2000 to 2019, the rate among people younger than 50 increased by nearly 13% for developing cancer.

Recently the Princess of Wales, Catherine Middleton made headlines for developing cancer at an early age. While her case is widely publicized, it’s part of an ongoing trend of young people developing cancer earlier. Clinicians have especially been noticing a rise in cancers in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, including colorectal, kidney, and pancreatic cancers in adults younger than 50, the cutoff for what is usually considered early-onset cancer. Gastrointestinal cancer incidence was up 15 percent overall from 2010 to 2019, according to a recent JAMA study. As this trend continues clinicians around the world are greatly concerned.

While deaths for colorectal cancer patients over 65 are going down, deaths among younger patients are increasing, a reflection of the higher mortality rates often observed in early-onset cancers. Scientists say these cancers can be more deadly because they are not caught early enough for successful interventions. Currently, colonoscopies are not recommended until age 45.

Some experts have identified a possible range of factors that include accelerated biological aging, inactive lifestyles, new toxins, and ultra-processed foods.

Biological aging is defined by nine blood biomarkers to calculate a person’s biological age: albumin, alkaline, phosphatase, creatinine, C-reactive protein, glucose, mean corpuscular volume, red cell distribution width, white blood cell count, and lymphocyte proportion. Those whose biological age was higher than their actual age were considered to have accelerated aging and thus are at greater risk for developing cancer earlier.

Many studies link inactivity and obesity to an increased risk of developing cancer in the GI system as well as early onset of stroke and heart disease.

Exposure to toxins in the environment and everyday goods, including phthalates found in makeup and hair products and formaldehyde in building materials, are now also suspected to increase cancer risk in younger patients.

A Brazilian nutritional scientist Carlos Monteiro coined the term ultra-processed foods 15 years ago, he established what he calls a new paradigm for assessing the impact of diet on health. While the rate of ultra-processed food intake is increasing all over the world, it is predominantly increasing in industrialized countries with the USA and Great Britain consuming the most ultra-processed foods.

Studies of ultra processed foods show that these processes used to create food, everything from snack bars to breakfast cereals to ready made meals can encourage overeating but may leave the eater undernourished. A recipe might as an example, contain a level of carbohydrate and fat that triggers the brain’s reward system. This means the individual has to consume more food to sustain the pleasure of eating.

In 2019, American metabolic scientist Kevin Hall carried out a randomized study comparing people who ate an unprocessed diet with those who followed an ultra-processed food diet over two weeks. Hall found that the subjects who ate the ultra-processed diet consumed around 500 more calories per day, more fat and carbohydrates, less protein, and gained weight. These types of studies also present the most concrete challenge yet to the food industry’s business model, for whom ultra-processed foods are extremely profitable.

The food industry has responded with a ferocious campaign against regulation. In part, it has used the same lobbying playbook as its fight against labeling and taxation of junk food high in calories. Their weapon of choice is big spending to influence policymakers.

An analysis of US lobbying data from non-profit Open Secrets found that food and soft drinks-related companies spent $106 million on lobbying in 2023, almost twice as much as the tobacco and alcohol industries combined. Last year’s spend was 21 percent higher than in 2020, with the increase driven largely by lobbying relating to food processing as well as sugar.

“The strategy the food industry is using is to deny, denounce, and delay,” says Barry Smith, director of the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London and a consultant for companies on the multisensory experience of food and drink.

With this much money being thrown at the political system and no legal definition of processed or ultra-processed food consumers struggle to understand the difference. A spokesperson at the UK’s Food & Drink Federation said: “Our concern about the concept of ultra-processed food is that it’s not linked to current government dietary guidance nor food safety regulations, which are underpinned by rigorous science and assessed by expert, independent committees.”

While grabbing a quick ultra-processed meal may be conducive to a busy lifestyle, you will eventually pay for that decision. The pharmaceutical companies are banking on that as cancer is big business in the healthcare industry and very profitable.

What can you do to ensure that you avoid ultra-processed foods and decrease your chances of developing an early onset of GI cancer? The first is to read labels. If it has more than five ingredients and contains ingredients not commonly used in culinary preparations such as artificial colors and flavors, preservatives for shelf stability, and ingredients to preserve texture like emulsifiers then it’s an ultra-processed food, even if the label says that it’s a healthy choice. Be a proactive healthcare advocate for yourself and turn to real foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats because what you consume today will impact your health in the future.



You can purchase Dr. David Wilcox’s book How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival on Amazon at the following link https://lnkd.in/diZKYC2

Follow me on social media at:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Dr-David-Wilcox-102834559130574

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DrDavidHelps

You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyYHs6ttrJ5l6-kUc-lEP9Q


According to a statement, “Healthcare is complex and that is not an accident. It is complex by the healthcare entities vying for your healthcare dollars. Covid has exacerbated the American Healthcare System, which was fragile, to begin with. Many clinicians are leaving healthcare due to burnout. How does the average layperson navigate the complexities of the American Healthcare System where a prescription could cost you $5 at one pharmacy and $500 at another? What does the average layperson do when their insurance company rejects their claim? Proactive education of the American Healthcare System prior to accessing it is the key to safely navigating the healthcare system. Until now, little information has been available to provide the layperson with the knowledge they need to be a better partner in their health care. Dr. David Wilcox’s book How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival” is a game-changer and will provide you with the skill set you need to navigate the American Healthcare System.

Website: https://drdavidwilcox.com/

Dr. Wilcox is a Doctorate prepared nurse who also holds a Masters in Health Administration and is Board Certified in Nursing Informatics. Dr. Wilcox has 28 years of healthcare experience in which he worked as a bedside nurse, hospital administrator, and in healthcare information technology which has helped him to develop his unique perspective on the American Healthcare System.

Dr. Wilcox is the author of the book “How to Avoid Being a Victim of the American Healthcare System: A Patient’s Handbook for Survival (2021)” available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578878364

Dr. Wilcox currently resides in North Carolina with his wife and their three dogs.

Dr Wilcox’s website: Dr. David Wilcox – Healthcare, American Healthcare System (drdavidwilcox.com)


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