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Some Cancer Trends Differ for Oldest Old in the United States

Last Updated: August 07, 2019.

Some cancer trends differ for U.S. patients aged 85 years and older, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Some cancer trends differ for U.S. patients aged 85 years and older, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Carol E. DeSantis, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues examined cancer burden among adults aged 85 years and older in the United States.

The researchers note that there will be about 140,690 cancer cases diagnosed and 103,250 cancer deaths among the oldest old in 2019. The most common cancers are lung, breast, prostate, and colorectum -- the same as in the general population. In the oldest men and women, overall cancer incidence rates peaked around 1990 and then declined; during the past decade, the pace accelerated. These trends mainly reflect decreases in prostate and colorectum cancers and more recent decreases in lung cancer among men and breast cancers among women. For some cancers (e.g., lung cancer and melanoma), there were differences in trends in the oldest age groups compared with adults aged 65 to 84 years, with elevated risks in the oldest old. Furthermore, cancers are often more advanced at diagnosis in the oldest old. Patients aged 85 years and older have the lowest relative survival, with the largest disparities for diagnosis at advanced stages.

"The rapid growth and diversification of the population aged 85 years and older will increase demand and complexities for cancer care and could have a substantial impact on medical care resource allocation," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Carevive Systems.

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