Ageism and Cancer

Cancer has a way of effecting chaos in anything it gets in contact with. It can also be said and witnessed that it does not discriminate in color or age. In this post I wanted to talk a bit about age and how anyone can be diagnosed with the cancer. There are 100,000 babies diagnosed with some form of cancer; The most commonly known are leukemia, brain, retinoblastoma (eye), and neuroblastoma (stomach). How can it be a that a child fresh and new has in some way been subjected to cancer so young? It’s so sad to hear stories whether your new to this earth or have lived a full life, you just may be affected with some form of cancer in your lifetime.

I recall some years back it was assumed if someone in your immediate family had cancer, you may be be predisposed as a hereditary trait, but the way it now shows this is no longer the thought. There are so many factors to consider besides hereditary traits:

This post I wanted to just touch a bit on the age factor.

Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20

*The National Children’s Cancer Society

Young Adults
The most common cancers among adolescents age 15-19 are Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid carcinoma, brain and central nervous system and testicular germ cell tumors

 *The National Children’s Cancer Society

Most young adults from the ages of 20-39 are commonly affected with:
-Breast Cancer
-Testicular Cancer

To name a few.

* American Cancer Society

Many in the senior sector are living longer and the amount of diseases are even more prevalent with later age. This is not to say everyone will have cancer at 60 or 70, but the toll of age related ailments may show form. For those in their mid 60’s it has been suggested that this age group is 10 times greater to show some form or cancer than younger patients.
Those cancers that show a strong association with mortality for this age group are:

Heart disease has been considered the leading cause of senior mortality, but now cancer has taken the lead in various forms.

Are there any true differences in care for those younger vs. older? Cancer treatment always reference to individual tolerance. We can’t say because you’re younger you have a better go with beating cancer, than someone in their 80’s. It’s really a toss up in getting a diagnosis early on, to gearing up for a proper treatment plan. Can you sustain the harsh medications, mental, and physical tolls? That is the real question for any age.

Unfortunately all ages can be affected from any chronic disease. Ageism and cancer is a very real reality.