Young adults are more likely than either younger children or older adults to be diagnosed with certain cancers, such as Hodgkin lymphoma, melanoma, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer and sarcomas. However, the incidence of specific cancer types varies according to age. Leukemia, lymphoma, testicular cancer and thyroid cancer are the most common cancers among 15- to 24-year-olds. Among 25- to 39-year-olds, breast cancer and melanoma are the most common.
Evidence suggests that some cancers in adolescents and young adults may have unique genetic and biological features. Scientists are actively working to learn more about the biology of cancers in young adults so that they can identity molecularly targeted therapies that may be effective in these cancers.