Cancer can affect patients of any age, but cancer risks increase with age. According to Senior Homes, “Approximately 2.15% of all adults over 65 will be newly-diagnosed with cancer each year compared to 0.2% of those under 65.”
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the word “cancer” seems to be everywhere. And while everyone has been affected by cancer, whether firsthand or by watching a family member or friend fight the disease, those near and above retirement age should take a particular interest in the topic and what it means for them.
Women and men should do monthly self-examinations to check for Breast Cancer, and women over the age of 40 should schedule yearly mammograms. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, women who go through menopause later in their life have an increased risk of breast cancer.
But there are also things you can do to lower your risk! According to recent research by the American Cancer Society, taking a brisk walk for an hour a day can help women over 50 reduce their chances of breast cancer by 14%.
Here are some other facts about cancer as you age:
Age-related illnesses, such as arthritis, can make cancer treatments less effective and make healing after cancer treatment more difficult.
The most common fatal cancer in men is prostate cancer, which is why it is important to get a yearly exam.
Men die from cancer more often than women because they fail to visit a doctor and get proper treatment, according to the Daily Mail. Women are also more informed about the signs of cancer.
As is important to patients at any age, a healthy diet, limited exposure to UV rays, not smoking, and living an active lifestyle can all reduce your risk of cancer.
The American Cancer Society clearly lays out guidelines for cancer screenings, and the closer you follow these guidelines, the better chance you will have at detecting a problem early. If the unthinkable would happen and you are diagnosed with cancer, you can find comfort in Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community’s excellent level of medical care.