Esophageal Cancer Increasing Among Young Adults

Researchers report that the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has increased over the last 40 years, with the rate increasing fastest among patients under the age of 50. Additionally, the research team reports that younger esophageal cancer patients were more likely to be diagnosed with a more advanced stage of the cancer and their survival rates were lower than patients aged 50 and up. Lead study author Dr. Don C. Codipilly adds, “Physicians must keep in mind that [esophageal adenocarcinoma] is not a disease of the elderly, and that outcomes for young people with [esophageal adenocarcinoma] are dismal… Our findings suggest that physicians should have a low threshold of suspicion for patients who present with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). While younger patients would typically not be at high risk for [esophageal adenocarcinoma], they may benefit from an upper endoscopy.”
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, December 2020