Cancer Treatment: Cancer in Older People

Cancer occurs more often in people after 50 or 60 years of age. In still older people, i.e. 80 years or above, some characteristics of cancer have been noted during life and in post-mortem studies of people who have died of causes other than cancers.

1. Small microscopic cancers of the prostate were very common in males.
2. Lung and stomach cancer were seen in many cases, both in males and females.
3. Lung cancer of the type of adenocarcinoma, was found often and was commoner in females than males.
4. Multiple cancers arising in different organs at the same time was not an uncommon feature.
5. Lesions regarded as precursors to cancers were often observed in stomach, colon and lungs.
6. The rate of growth of cancers in general was slow.

Cancer Situation in the World

Cancer is the second common cause of death in the developed countries next to cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) diseases. In Europe and North America, approximately one in five die of cancer. According to WHO, out of an estimated total of 50 million deaths annually in the world, more than !> million are attributed to cancer, and the number of deaths from cancer throughout the world is increasing.

Cancer Situation in India

Approximately 500,000 new cases of cancer occur every year in India. As the human life span is increasing in India, more cases of cancer are observed here also. Cancer is thus regarded as an emerging health problem in India. According to Dr. D.J. Jussawalla, founder secretary of Indian Cancer Society, cancer is one of the 10 leading causes of death today in India, and is advancing in rank year by year.”

The figures given by Indian Cancer Society state that about 1.5 million people suffer from cancer at any point of time in India. Oral cancer and Cervix cancer account for the major causes of cancer in this country.

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