Rising Cancer Diagnoses in Young Adults: Lifestyle Changes and Early Screenings can Lower Risks

June 7, 2024
Kevin Stevenson


In recent years, a troubling trend has emerged: a noticeable rise in cancer diagnoses among young adults. This discussion is particularly timely following the news of Princess Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis and the growing recognition that cancer is no longer a disease confined to older populations. Research indicates that environmental and behavioral factors, alongside genetics, may be contributing to this increase.

Why is there an increase in cancer diagnoses among younger populations, and what screenings should be prioritized to detect it early?

In this episode of “I Don’t Care,” host Dr. Kevin Stevenson talks with Dr. Najeeb Al Hallak, the medical oncologist and co-leader of the gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine oncology multidisciplinary team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. They delve into the importance of early cancer screenings and how primary care physicians can play a pivotal role in early detection and prevention.

Main Points of Conversation:

  • The importance of early cancer screenings for young adults, especially for those with familial or genetic predispositions.
  • The impact of environmental and behavioral factors on cancer risk in younger populations.
  • Specific cancer screening recommendations for young adults, including colonoscopies, mammograms, and genetic testing.

Dr. Najeeb Al Hallak is a distinguished medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal cancers. He serves as an associate professor in oncology at Wayne State University and co-leads the gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine oncology multidisciplinary team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. His research focuses on gastrointestinal malignancies, clinical trials, and the development of new cancer treatments.

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