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Research says teens more prone to some cancers
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Teenagers are more likely to suffer from certain types of cancer, such as cervical, testicular and skin cancer, according to British scientists.

Certain cancer rates rose faster among adolescents in England than in adults from 1979 to 2003, according to research presented at an international conference on teenage cancer in London on Monday.

Cervical cancer rates for all ages dropped across England in the last three decades, except in teenagers and young adults, and among teens aged 15 to 19, the rate increased by nearly 7 percent each year, according to the research funded by Cancer Research UK.

Skin cancer rates increased in all age groups, but most markedly among people in their 20s with the yearly rate having increased by about 4 percent in people aged 20-24, compared with 2.5 percent for those aged 35-39.

Most common cancer types in young people include testicular cancer, Hodgkin's disease and brain tumors.

However, researchers could not determine the reason behind the rates differences, yet to know whether the cause is genetic or hormonal, or if it stems from environment, lifestyle, or a mix of all three.

Cancer Research UK's Pediatric and Familial Cancer Research Group Director Jillian Birch said that the question is whether there are special reasons these young people are developing cancers that are usually only typical of adults.

More research was needed into whether adolescents might be more genetically susceptible to certain cancers, Birch said, suggesting hormones could factor into the increased rates of cervical and testicular cancer, possibly triggered by puberty.

(Agencies via Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2008)

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