Cancer and age: Age can raise one’s risk of cancer. Here's how

ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi
Sep 15, 2022 02:29 PM IST

There are more than 100 types of cancer and they can be seen in every age group. Age is one of the established risk factors behind the occurrence of cancer. Here's decoding the connection between cancer and age with health tips from doctor to lower the risk and take good care of yourself.

Cancer is a disease wherein some of the body's cells tend to grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body and there are more than 100 types of cancer which can be seen in every age group. Yes, you have heard us here! Did you know? Along with certain risk factors like obesity, smoking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, even age can raise one’s risk of cancer.

Cancer and age: Age can raise one’s risk of cancer. Here's how(Tara Winstead)
Cancer and age: Age can raise one’s risk of cancer. Here's how(Tara Winstead)

Age is one of the established risk factors behind the occurrence of cancer where globally, cancer is the leading cause of the disease after cardiovascular diseases and India is home to millions of cancer patients. According to a report, around 1,392,179 people in India had cancer in 2020 and the number is expected to go up in 2025.

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The common types of cancer were breast, lung, mouth, cervix, uteri and tongue, as per the research. Did you know? In men, the projected incidence was 94.1 per 100,000 individuals and for women it was 103.6 per 100,000 individuals for 2020, according to the Cancer Statistics Report, 2020.

Thus, cancer is not limited to any particular sex or age and can happen to people of every age group including children. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Suhas Aagre, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Hemato-Oncologist at Asian Cancer Institute, decoded the relation between cancer and age:

· The median age at diagnosis is 62 years for breast cancer, 67 years for colorectal cancer, 71 years for lung cancer, 66 years for prostate cancer, 70 years for pancreas cancer, 62 years for breast, 50 for cervix, and 63 for ovaries. Common cancers over 50 are prostate, bladder, lung, and melanoma. But, cancer can happen to anyone at any age. Now, even young women in their 30s have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian, or cervical cancer. We even read that child in their teens are battling bone cancer, leukemia or lymphoma .

· As one gets older, most types of cancer become more common as the cells can get damaged over time. This damage can then build up as we age and can lead to cancer. Certain risk factors like smoking, pollution, UV rays of the sun, certain medical conditions can invite cancer. You are at a higher risk of getting diagnosed with cancer if you are above 70. Thus, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle and follow the instructions given by the doctor.

· The good news is that due to technological advancement, the survival rate has increased. Picking up cancer at an early stage and treating it promptly will save one’s life. You should not wait till your condition worsens. Moreover, if you have a family history of cancer too then go for screening and get appropriate treatment.

Dr Suhas Aagre advised, “Age is one of the risk factors that cannot be changed when it comes to cancer but to lower the risk of cancer, you can eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, quit smoking and maintain an optimum weight.”

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