People over 65 years are susceptible to cancer attack

People over 65 years are susceptible to cancer attack
Highlights

Every living cell is susceptible to cancer, and hence every living being is prone to this dreadful disease. Every cell decays as it ages.

Dr Ch Mohana VamsyEvery living cell is susceptible to cancer, and hence every living being is prone to this dreadful disease. Every cell decays as it ages. Tumours occur in parts of the body due to birth of new cells while old cells are still alive. Certain benign tumours are restricted to a particular part of the body, and some dangerous cancer tumours spread to surrounding cluster of cells through blood and lymph ducts. Social surroundings, vices, climate, professional hazards, pollution, life style, hormone changes, family history, some kinds of viruses, bacteria, fertilisers, radiation and many factors are stated to be the cause for growth of cancer tumours as one ages. According to a survey by the National Cancer Institute, 60 per cent of newly-found cancers attack people over 65 years of age and the illness among 70 per cent of them could be terminal. Compared to young people, those over 65 years of age are 10 times more susceptible to cancers. Aged people are usually afflicted with all types of cancers, especially, colon, rectal, prostate, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, large intestines, breast cancers. Personalised treatments need to be given to the aged people who are more prone to diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, wear and tear of joints, thyroid problems and clogging of chest and blood vessels.

Some of the reasons for cancers in elderly people are:
1. Chronic smoking right from the younger age, alcohol
2. Sexual relations with many people
3. Decline in immunity as age advances
4. Taking certain hormones in excess
5. Exposure to chemicals
6. Slow changes in cells
7. Treatments for other diseases

There is a higher risk of cancer in people afflicted with diseases like Werner Syndrome, Alzheimer’s and AIDS.
Breast, endometrial and uterus cancers are more prevalent in women with high levels of chronic oestrogen. It needs to be doubted if menstruation does not cease even after 60 years of age in women. Puberty at the age of nine, late marriage, planning of pregnancy also contribute the risk of breast cancer.

Testosterone levels may lead to prostate cancer in men. Therefore, besides surgery, radiation, chemo, hormone therapy also play pivotal role in cancer treatments relating to hormones. Definite reasons are not known for certain tumours. It is better for elders to develop awareness that, apart from food and life style, screening tests are necessary to ascertain cancer in the initial stage itself, to put a check to cancer.

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