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Epidemiology of cancers in older adults 

Epidemiology of cancers in older adults
Epidemiology of cancers in older adults

Shane O’Hanlon

and Margot Gosney

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date: 16 May 2022

Increasing life expectancy has led to a higher incidence and prevalence of cancer in older people, with the largest increase in the 75 and over age group. This group is much more likely to develop cancer than younger people. The incidence rate is higher for older males and varies by cancer type. The rate begins to decline in the 85 and over age group, however mortality continues to rise with age. Older people with cancer are undertreated compared to younger people. Overall survival rates are improving, but there is a widening gap in outcomes between younger and older people. The United Kingdom has poorer outcomes than the United States and other European countries. This chapter discusses recent trends in cancer epidemiology and outlines modern approaches towards assessment and care, including consideration of frailty and comprehensive geriatric assessment.

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