Background: Cancers in adolescent and young adults are different from those in older adults and are morelikely to relate to genetic predisposition and exposure to risk factors early in life. They also have the greatestimpact on those individuals who have most of their potential years of life ahead of them.
Objective: To determinethe incidence and pattern of cancers in adolescent and young adults. Methodology: A ten year retrospective studyfrom January 1997 to December 2006 was performed at the Department of Pathology. All malignancies diagnosedbetween the ages of 15-44 years were retrieved from our records and socioepidemiological data regarding eachcase were collected from the hospital record section. The cases were analyzed for incidence, site of involvement,age /sex distribution and year wise distribution by descriptive analysis.
Results:In this study, cancer in adolescentand young adults accounted for 26.6% of all the cancers diagnosed. Maximum cases were seen between 35-39years age group in both genders. The male: female ratio was 1:2. Year wise there was steady rise in number ofcases from 1997 to 2006 in both genders. The top five common sites in males were cancer of mouth, stomach,testis, bone & penis and in females were mouth, cervix uterus, breast, thyroid & stomach.
Conclusion: In thepresent study, cancer of mouth predominated in both genders, followed by stomach in males and cervix uterusand breast in females, reflecting potential lifestyle and environmental factors.