Cancer Is An Older Person’s Disease. So Where Is AARP?   –  Multiple Myeloma Is Near The Average Age Of A Cancer Patient.

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I had often thought multiple myeloma patients were older than the average cancer patient, with an average age of 69 years at diagnosis.   But I recently searched for the average age of all cancers and found the average cancer patient is 67 years old at diagnosis and this includes all the childhood cancers as well.   So cancer is an AARP Cancer!  I guess that is to be expected, in that over time we have had exposure to all sorts of cancer causing agents which have been banned in our lifetime as well as the ongoing attack from processed food, additives, coloring, etc.  Also with time our immune systems tend to be less vibrant and as a result are less able to negate these attacks.  The National Cancer Institutes SEER data can be viewed if you CLICK HERE

I get the AARP publications and they are very informative about many of the issues older people are confronted with, however I do not see a focus on education of its members on the need to be aware of the risks to this population from heart disease and  cancer and what tests might just help to identify heart disease and  cancer in the early stages when treatment is far more likely to be effective.    We do need to know about our retirement options and how to sign up for Medicare and supplemental insurance, BUT HEY how about the  most likely cause of our death which  is heart disease and  cancer.  I recently read that some 50% of all cancers are found in the latter stages of progression, making it much harder to treat and perhaps cure.  What this means to me is the AARP generation is not getting the annual check ups and tests which would highlight posssible cardiac and cancer risks, nor are their General Practitioners educating them on what symptoms may be a sign that they may have cardiac issues or cancer and should get to a doctor for tests.  

Given that so few people(5%) have never heard of multiple myeloma, I think this post will fall on very few ears.   But, I still see the value in helping just one person find this post helpful and goes to a doctor and his diagnosis of heart disease or cancer is early in the prognosis, I feel my efforts have had value.  I do hope that someone from AARP sees this and goes DAAH!  We need to focus on the two biggest reasons we lose our members.  

Just as an aside, I was in the emergency room at Mayo Clinic on Monday.  I am a nearly 9 year survivor, but this %^^&&^%$  myeloma will raise its ugly head to let you know who is in control.   I got a cold and 12 hours later it had gone to my lungs and I have pneumonia, and based on my history I am just 12 more hours from being septic. This is now the 4th time I have gone through this, once septic and near death and the next three times I took Tamaflu at first symptoms, then antibiotics at the first sign of a temperature, and then to the emergency room with a temp of 100.5, then IV antibiotics and a script for antibiotics for when I go home.  Like I have said more than once, the number one cause of death is pneumonia, and you must go to the ER at 100.5 temperature, or you could die.  So always error to the side of caution.  I have lost too many myeloma friends to infection, and know that this might just save your life!  

Good luck and may God Bless your Cancer Journey.   For more information on multiple myeloma survival rates and treatments CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1