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Cancer in old age health guide
Overview of cancer in old age
Cancer is one of the most feared diseases in all groups of people, not only in old people, but this article will pay more attention on the cancer in old age because they are more prone to have the disease. Some types of cancer can be treated successfully in older people; a true cure or at least a very prolonged remissionâ€”can sometimes be achieved. Thus, a diagnosis of cancer is not necessarily an imminent death sentence. Even when cancer is advanced, most symptoms usually can be effectively managed, although it remains true that most older people with advanced cancer will die from their cancer.
A cancer in old age as well as the young people is a group of cells (usually coming from a single cell) that has uncontrolled growth. Healthy cells are transformed into cancerous cells in a complex way. The first step is called initiation, in which a change in the cellâ€™s genetic material sets the stage for the cell to become cancerous. Initiation may be caused by any number of cancer-causing agents (carcinogens), such as tobacco, radiation, or chemicals. The second step, called promotion, allows a cell that has been initiated to become cancerous. Promotion may be caused by substances in the environment.
Cancer in the old age as well as the young age can begin anywhere in the body, but certain cancers are more common than others. Cancer can also develop at any age but is much more common in older people. Over half of all cancer diagnoses and half of cancer deaths occur in people over age 65. Lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer are especially common in older people.
Why cancer in old age is more common than in young people?
Cancer in old age is more common for a number of reasons. The longer people are alive, the longer they are exposed to cancer-causing agents. The cells of the immune system, which help protect against cancer, become less active with increasing age. Also, the bodyâ€™s ability to repair damage to genetic material inside the cell declines with aging, allowing for more opportunities for cancer cell initiation. Yet, there is evidence that certain types of cancer are less aggressive in older people.
Cancers harm the old people as well as the young people in a number of ways. As cancers grow, they may invade and damage nearby parts of the body. Cancers may also interfere with the function of organs and tissues simply by pressing up against them. They can spread to distant tissues, producing collections of cells (called metastases) that may invade and damage tissues and blood vessels in these new areas. Cancers can also produce hormones or similar chemical substances, which can travel through the bloodstream to cause unwanted effects throughout the body.