Cancer Rates Among Teenagers Are Soaring

The number of cancer rates is increasing globally. A possible explanation for this increase may be attributed to demographic changes, poor diets and the pollution that usually accompanies higher standards of living. A long-term study has shown that the number of registered cancer cases in 15–19 year olds has increased by a total of over 25%. The exact reasons for this widespread increase are however mostly unknown.

In 2030 around 21.6 million new cancer cases are expected according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In the same breath the numbers of deaths that are caused by cancer are also expected to rise from 8.2 to 13 million.

A study that was conducted by the Departments of Public Health and the Lowell Center of Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts revealed that the number of new cancer cases increased even among younger age groups.

A team of three scientists* published their findings ( which confirmed this increased incidence of cancer among adolescents earlier this year. Their findings were based on the data that was provided by the SEER cancer registry ( The observed increase of more than 25% pertains to the time span from 1975–2012. According to this data the annual increase among young men amounts to 0.67% while young women experienced an annual increase of 0.62%, respectively.

For individual dignoses the progressions vary. The greatest annual increase among individual diagnoses was observed in registered Lymphoma cases (non-Hodgkin-Lymphomas), with an annual increase of 2.16% for men and 1.38% for women. Second on the list was thyroid cancer with an annual increase of 2.12% for men and 1.59% for women. Followed by bone marrow cancer and testicular cancer. Hodgkin lymphoma cases on the other hand regressed for both sexes over the observed time span.

*Jessica Burkhammer, David Kriebel, Richard Clapp