In honor of World Cancer Day (Feb. 4, 2019), we at Towne Home Care are spreading awareness of how cancer affects the elderly. Myths about cancer abound and there are some major misconceptions about the elderly in particular.
Myth: The Risk of Getting Cancer Is the Same at Any Age
Actually, 9 out of 10 cancers are diagnosed in people who are 50 or older. The risk of contracting cancer definitely goes up with age. However, cancer is a global epidemic and affects people of all of ages, races and socio-economic groups.
Myth: There’s No Point in Treating Cancer in the Elderly
Treatment is helpful at any age. Older patients often have other health conditions which need to be taken into account when treatment is administered, but doctors are trained and experienced in dealing with these issues. Many elderly people have been successfully cured of cancer and have lived for many years after the initial diagnosis.
Myth: The Elderly Can’t Handle Surgery
Studies of lung cancer patients show that there is no difference in survival rates between younger patients undergoing surgery and older ones. In fact, older patients who have had surgery are more likely to recover than those who underwent other types of treatments.
Myth: Prostate Cancer Only Affects Elderly Men
While it is true that most prostate cancer patients are elderly and that the median age for death from this cancer is 80, men can develop prostate cancer at a younger age as well. There are cases of men as young as 40 who were diagnosed with prostate cancer, but it’s pretty rare.
Questions about cancer and home care? Call 732-363-3939 for guidance.