Readers ask: Why Does Cancer Affect The Elderly?

One view is that cancer develops in older people simply because of their prolonged exposure to carcinogens such as sunlight, radiation, environmental chemicals, and substances in the food we eat. Mutations also occur as a result of random errors when a cell’s DNA is copied before it divides.

How can cancer affect the elderly?

Cancer treatment can be more challenging and complicated for older adults. This is because older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. Even when you are healthy, your body will most likely respond differently to treatment than a younger person’s body.

What is the most common cause of cancer in older adults?

Among men aged 85 years and older, prostate and lung cancers are the most common causes of cancer death, together representing 40% of cancer deaths. Among women, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death (19%) followed by breast cancer (13%) (Table 1).

Can an 80 year old survive cancer?

First, there is no reason to deny older people adequate cancer therapy — surgery, chemotherapy, radiation — based on age alone. Individualization is critical; one size does not fit all! While one 80-year-old may tolerate a standard course of chemotherapy perfectly well, the next may not.

Can an 85 year old survive cancer?

Patients with cancer who are aged 85 years and older have the lowest relative survival of any age group, with the largest disparities noted when cancer is diagnosed at advanced stages.

Can a 90 year old survive cancer?

In most cases, it does not. A healthy older person often has the same chances of responding to treatment or being cured than a younger one. Even for patients with more health issues chemotherapy may help decrease cancer symptoms and growth, and help people live better and longer.

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Can a 90 year old get cancer?

Your risk of getting cancer increases as you get older. More than half of cancer diagnoses are given to people over the age of 66. Certain cancers are more common among older adults. Some of the most common cancers, such as colon cancer and breast cancer, are easy to detect at the earlier stages.

What cancer has the lowest survival rate?

The cancers with the lowest five-year survival estimates are mesothelioma (7.2%), pancreatic cancer (7.3%) and brain cancer (12.8%). The highest five-year survival estimates are seen in patients with testicular cancer (97%), melanoma of skin (92.3%) and prostate cancer (88%).

What are the signs of a cancer patient dying?

Signs that death has occurred

  • Breathing stops.
  • Blood pressure cannot be heard.
  • Pulse stops.
  • Eyes stop moving and may stay open.
  • Pupils of the eyes stay large, even in bright light.
  • Control of bowels or bladder may be lost as the muscles relax.

Has anyone survived cancer without treatment?

By the time the cancer has reached the attention of doctors, unaided recovery is highly unlikely: overall, just one in 100,000 cancer patients are thought to shed the disease without treatment. Within those scant reports, though, there are some truly incredible stories.

Is chemotherapy really worth it?

Suffering through cancer chemotherapy is worth it — when it helps patients live longer. But many patients end up with no real benefit from enduring chemo after surgical removal of a tumor. Going in, it’s been hard to predict how much chemo will help prevent tumor recurrence or improve survival chances.

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Should an 80 year old have radiation?

It has been suggested that psychosocial support during and after radiation therapy may improve overall quality of life. We found that in our patients who were age 80 or older, radiation therapy could be safely administered with both curative and palliative intent.

What happens when you refuse cancer treatment?

Treatment decision making is an ongoing process; thus, patients who initially refuse treatment may later choose to undergo conventional cancer treatment if given the adequate support, information, and time necessary to make the decision.

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