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Cancer rates down in young men.. Toronto Star article


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Cancer rates down in young men

Sep. 12, 2006. 01:00 AM



The number of young men who are diagnosed with cancer is falling in Canada, but the rates of new cancer cases among young women have not changed in the last three decades, according to a report by Cancer Care Ontario.

Improvements in screening and treatment techniques led to fewer young men and women dying of cancer during the 1980s and 1990s. But the report shows that young Canadians are still at risk for some types of common cancers, including testicular cancer and lung cancer.

This is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of cancer in young adults aged 20 to 44, says Terry Sullivan, president and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario. The report identifies cancer trends in Canada between 1983 and 1999.

Cancer in young men and women is understudied, even though 10 per cent of cancers occur in this age group, says Sullivan.

"Most people think of the young adult age group as the healthiest period of life," he says. "And generally speaking that is true. So that's why there hasn't been much of a focus on this group."

Until now. Sullivan says this report, Cancer in Young Adults in Canada, will help steer cancer research in Canada.

Fewer young men have been diagnosed with melanoma, colorectal and lung cancers since 1992, and death rates for these same cancers have also decreased. But the report reveals that testicular cancer, the most common type of cancer for young men, is on the rise, at an increase of 2.2 per cent per year, says Sullivan. Risk factors for testicular cancer are still unknown, he says.

For the first time, the report shows more women than men being diagnosed with lung cancer — and dying from the disease. Loraine Marrett, director of the Ontario Cancer Care Surveillance Unit, says this finding is related to the high number of adolescent women who smoked during the 1970s.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten ... 8332188774

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