Cancer in elderly: Challenges & Barriers
The aging population implies important changes at various levels. From the ancient years to the 19th century, human life expectancy doubled from 20 years to 40 years. However, this life expectancy doubled fast to 80 years from the 19th century to the 20th century and continuously increased in the 21st century.
This fact implies important socioeconomic and health challenges. Aging entails a greater need to care for aspects related to primary aging (physical changes due to aging) and to secondary aging (risks increase in old age) undoubtedly, cancer risk increases exponentially with age. About 60% of cancers occur in people 65 years of age or older. Furthermore, about 70% of the deaths caused by cancers occur in this stage. Therefore, cancer is a disease of old age. Taking into account the increase in cancer occurrence and the quality of life among the elderly population, a special approach is necessary for the diagnosis, treatment, and survival of elderly patients with cancer