Tuesday, May 11, 2010
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The progeny of Baby Boomers, Generation Y constitutes young adults born in the 1970s and 1980s, the demographic that hits square in the middle of new scientific evidence of increased stomach cancer. Apparently these “Echo Boomers,” as they are also called, need to be watchful for this serious health issue, even though they are only in their twenties and thirties.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute reviewed new cases of cancer in the lower stomach (also known as noncardia gastric cancer) that occurred from 1977 to 2006. They found over 39,000 cases in a sampling that represented a quarter of the American population. Overall, rates had declined across every age group and ethnic profile, except for those in the Caucasian 25-39 age group. This Gen Y group had a 70 percent increase in incidence of stomach cancer.
While this equates to only 1 per 200,000 people, it was a surprising finding, according to a statement made to Associated Press by Dr. Jaffer Ajani, a digestive cancer specialist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. While he acknowledged that it could be a statistical blip, it is worthy of further investigation and confirmation.
Cancer that occurs in the lower stomach is typically caused by H. pylori, a bacteria causing a chronic infection and, at times, ulcers. This type of cancer, more common in Asian countries, can be lined to high-salt diets and salt-preserved food. Gastric cancer is typically treated through surgical resection and subsequent chemotherapy.