Here Is What You Should Know About Cancer
as You Get Older
As you get older, you probably have experienced the so-called "curse of an unhealthy lifestyle," as manifested by all sorts of pain and signs and symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, and other medical illness. As people age, cancer risk increases. Just as everybody thinks, cancer is considered a life sentence, and this is the worst news a doctor delivers to any patient.
So, how should you prepare yourself? Equipping yourself with the right knowledge about cancer can motivate you to start making healthy choices if you haven't done it yet, and to prepare you for the worst scenario.
In this article, you will learn important things you need to know about cancer as you get older, which serves as your reference guide to help you prevent and deal with cancer.
Determine What Type Of Cancer Affects Your Demographics
It is crucial to know the most common type of cancer that affects people of your gender, age bracket, and even race or ethnicity, which results in early diagnosis and treatment. Also, determining the kind of cancer that you're at a high risk of developing leads to implementing preventive measures, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and undergoing annual regular diagnostic procedures, like Prostate MRI.
One of the most common types of cancer that men experience is prostate cancer. It involves the malignant growth of cells in the prostate gland found below the bladder and surrounding the urethra. Prostate cancer warning signs include painful or burning urination, difficulty starting or stopping urine, blood in the urine, and sudden erectile dysfunction.
Take a look at the following risk factors of prostate cancer based on demographics:
- All men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, most especially men over 50 years old.
- African-American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than other races.
- Having more than one first-degree relative (son, brother, or father) who had prostate cancer, up to three generations on either side of the parents' family.
Top Cancer Cases For Age 85 And Older
According to the journal published by the American Cancer Society, people aged 85 years old and above are more prone to developing certain types of cancers.
The 10 leading types of cancer among men aged 85 years old and above from 2011 to 2015 include the following:
- Lung and Bronchial Cancer (16%)
- Prostate Cancer (13%)
- Cancer of the Urinary Bladder (13%)
- Colon Cancer (11%)
- Skin Cancer or Melanoma (6%)
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (5%)
- Leukemia (4%)
- Pancreatic Cancer (4%)
- Cancer of the Kidney (3%)
- Stomach Cancer (2%)
For older women, the top 10 cancer cases in 2011 to 2015 include the following:
- Breast Cancer (19%)
- Colon Cancer (14%)
- Lung Cancer (14%)
- Pancreatic Cancer (5%)
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (5%)
- Cancer of the Urinary Bladder (4%)
- Leukemia (4%)
- Skin Cancer or Melanoma (3%)
- Uterine Cancer (3%)
- Ovarian Cancer (2%)
Recommended Cancer Screening
In any disease, early diagnosis is imperative to ensure early treatment is provided in order to increase the survival rate of the patient. So, what are the laboratory or imaging studies recommended to diagnose cancer early?
Because cancer is the country's second leading cause of death in older adults, screening is highly recommended. Here are The recommended cancer screening procedures for the common types of cancer set by the American Academy of Family Physicians:
- Annual Mammograms: The life expectancy for patients with breast cancer is 10 years. A mammogram is recommended for women aged 45 to 54 years old to detect breast cancer. Women aged 55 years old and above may opt for twice a year mammogram.
- Prostate Antigen Screening: This diagnostic procedure is used to rule out prostate cancer. It is recommended for men ages 50 years of age with average risk of developing cancer of the prostate glands with a life expectancy of at least 10 years. A prostate antigen is not recommended in men aged 70 years old and above with less than 10 years of life expectancy.
- Pap Smear: Along with the Papanicolaou test, cancer of the cervix is ruled out with the help of cytologic examination or biopsy to detect the presence of human papillomavirus. Screening must be stopped when the patient reaches 65 years old and prior negative screening results.
- Colonoscopy: Average risk patients aged 50 years old and above should undergo a colonoscopy to detect colorectal cancer. Stool DNA testing, double-contrast enema, fecal occult blood testing, computed tomography colonography, and fecal immunochemical testing are also recommended.
- CT-Scan: Annual lung cancer screening include low-dose computed tomography. It should be performed in patients aged 55 to 80 years old who have a smoking history.
Finding Alternative Cancer Treatment
Are you wondering why cancer tends to always kill victims? Cancer deaths are increasing across all age groups, which shows the inadequacy of current medical treatments in managing the life-threatening disease. Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery make up conventional cancer treatments. However, these approaches solely focus on tumor reduction, which, most often than not, always leads to a bitter end.
As people get older, they are at risk of developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer. But instead of increasing survival rate with treatment, conventional methods seem to cause more agony and lead to sooner death because of employing invasive methods that kill both cancer and healthy cells. Cancer kills victims, and for this reason, finding alternative cancer treatment is highly recommended by Dr. Philip Benzel in his book entitled, Alive and Well.
Take a look at the following alternative cancer treatments: alternative treatment of cancer.
- Acupuncture: It involves inserting tiny needles into the patient's skin at precise points to help relieve nausea induced by chemotherapy and pain among cancer patients.
- Aromatherapy: It uses fragrant oils, such as lavender oil, applied and massaged on the skin to help relieve nausea, stress, and pain.
- Exercise: Gentle or low-impact exercises, such as brisk walking and stretching, reduce stress and fatigue. Also, it promotes better sleep.
- Hypnosis: This alternative treatment brings a patient into a deep state of relaxation and concentration to help control pain and reduce stress.
- Others: Massage, yoga, music therapy, meditation, and relaxation techniques are the other alternative options in dealing with cancer. These activities can help increase a cancer patient's quality of life and chances of survival.
Now you know the most common type of cancer affecting the aging population. Early screening, diagnosis, and treatment are important to increase the survival rate, considering implementing alternative treatments available to improve a cancer patient's quality of life. Most of all, prevention must be every person's priority by maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing cancer.
About the author:
Clara Galvan is a professional writer who spends her leisure by publishing health-related topics on her blog. Clara also submits guest posts to other websites as an attempt to gain more readers.