Scientists have found that the likelihood of developing cancer decreases for adults aged 75 and older, CA reported.
Carol E. DeSantis of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, US, and her colleagues studied how often the most common types of cancer affect older people in the US.
“We note differences in trends for some cancers in the oldest age group (eg, lung cancer and melanoma) compared with adults aged 65 to 84 years, which reflect elevated risks in the oldest generations. In addition, cancers in the oldest old are often more advanced at diagnosis. For example, breast and colorectal cancers diagnosed in patients aged 85 years and older are about 10% less likely to be diagnosed at a local stage compared with those diagnosed in patients aged 65 to 84 years. 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. They are also less likely to receive surgical treatment for their cancers; only 65% of breast cancer patients aged 85 years and older received surgery compared with 89% of those aged 65 to 84 years,” the source noted. “Case estimates for men and women aged 85 years and older were calculated by applying the proportion of cases in this age group diagnosed during 2011 through 2015 from the NAACCR analytic file to the previously published total number of estimated cases for each cancer site in males and females in 2019.”
According to the study, reasons for the subsequent decline in risk beyond those ages are unclear but may reflect lower genetic susceptibility or the consequences of the natural aging process that inhibit tumor growth.