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The Most Common Causes of Cancer in the Elderly

September 23, 2019

While it is expected that the elderly face many more health dangers, including the risk of cancer, it is important to see what those causes may be. Whether it is something from lifetime history, genetics, and other risks, there is no reason to ignore the possibility of cancer as aging continues. Cancer may occur at any age, though it is more common in the elderly. With the need for elderly care alongside cancer treatment, there is much to consider in checking for the causes that may have occurred at any point in life to have brought on the risk of cancer for your senior loved ones.

Cancers over the Age of 75

Prostate, colon, rectum, non-melanoma skin cancer, breast, lung, trachea, bladder, urinary tract, pancreas, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, skin melanoma, corpus uteri, and cervix uteri all exist at certain levels per 100 people over the age of 75. These are the most common cancers in the elderly, in decreasing order. Most importantly, these cancers still increase in their frequency from year to year.


Along with the increased cancer risk that comes with increased age, there are other accumulating risks. It may be pieces of their lifestyle, while there will also be effects of cancer treatments that could be of risk to your senior. Operations will be completed more often on your seniors in the early stages in order to remove without the need for chemical treatment. This could improve your loved one’s quality of life, even if it may not extend their life span. Very little research shows that antitumor, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments for the elderly are quite helpful. The research often shows negative side effects more frequently and in greater severity for your senior loved ones. Their recovery from these treatments is also more difficult.


It is also important to know that, in addition to the age-related causes of cancer there are certain genetic risks. This can be important to determine when it is believed that your senior loved one spent a lifetime in a healthy lifestyle in all manners. Sometimes they may have lived without diseases, maintained a healthy diet and weight, have been physically fit, and there is still a surprising onset of any type of cancer in their later years.

7 Lifestyle Habits Causing Cancer

Some basic lifestyle habits throughout your life or during the earlier years of your senior loved one’s life often provide causes and risks for many different types of cancer. Unfortunately, with more and more types of cancer making their way into the medical field as diagnoses, certain parts of the regular daily lifestyle need to be a form of caution. For the longest time, it was a matter of making sure that things like smoking, drinking, and weight are controlled in order to maintain senior health. Now, there are so many additional daily risks that come along with those, making it important to keep an eye out for all those specific risks that may have occurred during your senior’s younger years and follow through with the necessary elderly care:

  1. chemicals (for example, pesticides)
  2. excessive consumption of alcohol
  3. smoking
  4. too much sunlight (skin cancer)
  5. obesity
  6. exposure to radiation
  7. certain viruses (such as those associated with cervical and liver cancer)


No matter how many of these may be of concern, there is always the possibility that cancer is of continued risk to your senior over the years. Knowing that they are approaching 75 and the greatest amount of risk, there may be a certain value to having regular elderly care that can work with your senior to make sure that all medical appointments are attended and that both check-ups and emergencies are followed through on properly.


If you or your loved one is looking for Elderly Care Atherton​, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.

Santa Clara County:

(408) 979-9990

San Mateo County:

(650) 353-9777

Santa Cruz County:

(831) 480-3990









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