Cancer in Older Adults

In 2005, individuals in the US aged >65 years contributed with 55 % of total cancers: 131,000 lung cancers (67 %), 90,000 colorectal cancers (64 %), 113,000 prostate cancer (61 %) and 79,000 female breast cancer (42 %) [1]. In the UK, cancer-incidence rate trends (1984-2007) were higher for prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer in males and for breast cancer in females aged >65 years [2 ]. In Japan, 60.8 % of prostate cancer patients were >75 years old and the average death in 2008 was 78.8 years [3]. According to GLOBOCAN 2012 Latin American and Caribbean estimated incidence per 100,000 increased with age for prostate (360.8/65-69 years, 529/70-74 years, 729/75+ years), colorectal (77.0/65-69 years, 109.2/70-74 years, 150.1/75+ years), lung (85.8/65-69 years, 113.7/70-74 years, 140.5/75+ years), and female breast cancer (176.3/65-69 years, 192.2/70- 74 years, 210.5/75+ years). A similar pattern was observed for Australia/New Zealand: prostate (824.9/65-69 years, 941.4/70-74 years, 990.5/75+ years), colorectal (228.4/65-69 years, 304.2/70-74 years, 150.1/75+ years), lung (175.1/65-69 years, 240/70-74 years, 296/75+ years), and female breast (323.6/65-69 years, 322.3/70-74 years, 303.6/75+ years) cancer [4]. On the other hand, Egypt has a age-specific cancer incidence rate (2008-2011) for liver (314.8/65-69 years, 327.1/70-74 years, 363.5/75+ years) and bladder (128.6/65- 69 years, 194.8/70-74 years, 205.6/75+ years) in males and breast (166.3/65-69 years, 138.7/70-74 years, 148.6/75 + years) and liver (143.9/65-69 years, 167.9/70-74 years, 150.5/75+ years) in females [5]. China estimated incidence per 100,000 was higher with age for lung (178.4/65-69 years, 262.6/70-74 years, 551.2/75+ years), stomach (119.6/65-69 years, 162.1/70-74 years, 280.4/75+ years), and liver cancer (111.0/65-69 years, 139.6/70-74 years, 193.2/75+ years) [4]. It is noticeable that there is a difference in organs with higher cancer incidence in developed versus developing countries. Another observation is that cancer incidence increases with ageing almost irrespective of country and exceptionally for some organs there is a decrease in very old individuals. The findings from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program [6] show that almost a third of all cancer are diagnosed after the age of 75 years and 70 % of cancer-related deaths occur after the age of 65 years.

 
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