Doctors are baffled by a surge in cancer cases among young people under age 50.
Cancer diagnosis rates in the U.S. increased 12.8% since 2000 among people under age 50, federal data shows.
Isabella Strahan, daughter of “Good Morning America” anchor Michael Strahan, revealed her battle with brain cancer on Thursday, Jan. 11.
The 19-year-old USC freshman experienced intense headaches and dizziness in September. She had trouble walking straight, then she began vomiting blood.
Isabella was seen by specialists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in October. She was diagnosed with a rare, fast-growing brain tumor the size of a golf ball.
Doctors are trying to determine why cancer is striking more young people and what the risk factors are.
“[Cancer] patients are getting younger,” said Dr. Andrea Cercek, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
“It’s likely some environmental change, whether it’s something in our food, our medications or something we have not yet identified.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, researchers suspect that less physical activity, more ultra-processed foods, and new toxins, in addition to plastic particles in bottled water may have increased the cancer risk.
Young people are less active and spend more time on their cell phones, gaming or chatting on social media.
The death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman at age 43 in 2020 drew attention to colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer was the canary in the coal mine,” said Timothy Rebbeck, a cancer epidemiologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
One study found that people born in the 1990s are at double the risk for colon cancer.
“We have to find out why,” said Ahmedin Jemal, a senior vice president at the American Cancer Society. “Otherwise, the progress we have made in the last 50 years may stall or reverse.”