1) Why cancer incidence increases in older?
Answer: Most cancers occur by continued exposure to carcinogenic capacity factors (ie, factors that can directly cause cancer or contribute to its development together with other factors). As they spend the years, this exhibition is acting and accumulating harmful effects which gradually increases the incidence of cancer.
2) Can you give an example of cancer are clearly influenced by age?
Answer: They are the majority, but we can give some concrete examples. One of the classics is breast cancer. Years ago it was considered that the incidence increased from 40 years of age and then titrated to 50-55 and then decayed. There was virtually no breast cancer over 70 years. But in fact, what they had not were women, because life expectancy was not as high as it is now thankfully. Then they began to compile statistics correcting for age, ie considering age groups in which they were the same number of people (for example, groups of ten years 10,000 or 100,000 people in each, so that statistics were homogeneous. in this way it was observed that breast cancer, far from decreasing from 55-60 years, would rise gradually to reach 80 years.
3) What can be inferred from this data?
Answer. That cancer is a feature of all ages, but especially among the elderly. These should not neglect surveillance, early diagnosis, good habits, because it is the best way to prevent cancer.
4) What is meant by security?
Simply not obsessed, but keep in mind that cancer can be behind any alteration or disease whose diagnosis is not well clarified. For example, pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is a small viscera situated between the spine and the stomach. There may develop cancer giving specific symptoms. Usually back pain, and the patient / a is referred frequently to the orthopedist, who does not observe any change in the vertebrae, sometimes a patient has stopped in the hands of the psychiatrist on the grounds that his repeated complaints were pure imagination. In any alterations have to put a name to illness and but it can be done, there is the risk that after a cancer in early development. The rule of thumb is to wait a month, but no diagnosis and the problem is, think about the possibility of cancer.
5) And the friendly lifestyles?
Answer: We can do much to improve the quality of life and reduce the risk of some cancers. In fact, older people today lead a life of quality than previous generations would not have even dreamed of. But there are still some bad habits, such as overeating, not getting enough exercise and weight control not own.
We think that older should do, always adapted to their abilities, the more the better physical exercise (gymnastics, Swedish, swimming, walking or running moderately). They should also be stricter with the Mediterranean diet and eating and drinking. In our talks and lectures at senior centers we look very overweight. You have to watch your weight and the corresponding size.
These measures improve the quality of life but also decrease the risk of cancer.
6) But cancer can be treated in the elderly? I’ve heard terrible things about chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
Answer: It is true that terrible things chemotherapy (experience hair loss, vomiting, etc.), radiation therapy (skin burns) and surgery (short and mutilates) are heard. But all this was true in the past. Today vomiting d ela chemotherapy are practically thing of the past; Hair recovers to cease chemotherapy and current wigs made from artificial hair are affordable and very good; Radiotherapy today do not much affect the skin, since irradiation is deposited, with new appliances, deeper, without damaging the skin; surgery has become very conservative, it tends to remove the tumor and not the affected organ, completing treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Examples of current conservative treatment, we breast cancer and sarcomas of the extremities (in the first have a lumpectomy plus radiation, preserving the breast affected and in seconds, not many limbs are amputated.
7) Do you have depression elderly people with cancer?
Yes, and more at risk than girls. However it is often undiagnosed and untreated, as is assumed by the environment that is normal for the feelings of loneliness, lack of hope, lack of plans … that some attribute to the elderly. You need to contact a trained professional and make sure you can diagnose and treat you well as it should.
8) Do you have anxiety older people with cancer?
Yes, but less than younger people. This is because the younger often rebel against this disease and not feel ‘their turn’, by the fact that at one point in the life cycle in a longer life perspective is assumed. However we must proceed with caution, because although the symptoms of anxiety in older people are less spectacular, not to say that not everybody gets them.
9) Is it better for the affected receive information?
This depends on each. The individual characteristics of the patient, including family and social desirability may indicate one way or the other. Age should not be a factor indicating not to inform the patient. Always considering all the facts, especially from that this demands.
10) Is it normal following treatment of cancer and sexual life is altered? Can he recover?
Yes, it is normal. The diagnosis of cancer is a threat to the individual, and treatment decreases the energy, is aesthetic and physical alterations. Sexuality is individual and people should tend to want it back. There are many prejudices about sexuality in the elderly, so often not taken into account the impact of surgical or hormonal treatments. In this sense we must fight this attitude; at least you have to inform the patient is old enough to have these possible changes, and let himself assess what suits your way of being and their quality of life. Upon completion of treatment, if the patient desired, must claim helps to restore their previous sex life if possible, or to focus to a new sexuality, adapted to the aftermath of treatment and disease.