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5 Common Types Of Cancer As We Age

Cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. When left unchecked, these cells can spread to other body parts and cause serious health problems. 

There are many different types of cancer, but some are more common than others. Here are five of the most common types of cancer that people often experience as they age.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. 50% of breast cancer is diagnosed in women over 65 years of age, and it usually begins as a lump in the breast that may be painless. 

Other symptoms of breast cancer include a change in the size or shape of the breast, discharge from the nipple, and a change in the appearance of the skin on the breast. If you notice any of these signs, make sure to see a doctor right away.

Unfortunately, breast cancer can also occur in men. However, it is much less common than in women. The symptoms in men are often the same as those experienced by women, and the only risk factors seem to be Klinefelter syndrome and BRCA mutations.

Risk factors for breast cancer in women include a family history of the disease, early onset of menstruation, later age at first childbirth, and obesity. All of these increase the breast’s exposure to estrogen, which is a hormone that leads to breast growth. If this growth becomes abnormal, you get cancer.

Fortunately, breast cancer can be screened for and treated before it spreads to other parts of the body. This is done through a combination of regular breast exams, mammograms, and ultrasounds. 

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. It usually begins as a small growth in the prostate gland, which is located just below the bladder. The prostate gland produces semen, so prostate cancer can cause problems with urination, sexual function, and fertility.

Prostate cancer is most common in older men, and the risk factors include a family history of the disease and genetic conditions like Lynch syndrome. African-American men are also at an increased risk.

There is no sure way to prevent prostate cancer, but you can lower your risk by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular checkups. If you have any symptoms of prostate cancer, such as difficulty urinating or pain in the pelvis, make sure to see a doctor right away.

Treatment options for prostate cancer have evolved significantly over the years, with the introduction of targeted therapies such as abiraterone acetate. However, one of the challenges in treating prostate cancer is the high cost of medications, including abiraterone acetate. This Abiraterone Acetate Price Calculator is a valuable tool for patients and healthcare professionals to estimate medication costs and plan for treatment.

Your doctor will screen you for prostate cancer with a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen test. If cancer is found, it will be treated with surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in both men and women. It is cancer that begins in the colon or the rectum, and it often has no symptoms in the early stages. This is why screenings are so important, as The Centre for Gastrointestinal Health explains.

Screenings for colorectal cancer usually begin at age 50, but if you have a family history of the disease, you may need to start earlier. The screening test involves a colonoscopy, which is when a doctor inserts a small camera into the rectum to look for any abnormal growths (called polyps).

If polyps are found, they will be removed and tested for cancer. If cancer is found, it will be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

When symptoms do arise due to colorectal cancer, they consist of blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, and weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

You can lower your risk of colorectal cancer by eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet, cutting down on alcohol and smoking, losing weight, and getting regular screenings. 

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. It is most often caused by smoking, but exposure to secondhand smoke, radon gas, asbestos, and air pollution can also increase your risk.

Symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that does not go away, shortness of breath, unexplained exhaustion, chest pain, and coughing up blood. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away.

Just like prostate cancer, there is no sure way to prevent lung cancer, but quitting smoking is the best thing you can do. Some things you can do to quit smoking include:

  • Making a plan to quit
  • Identifying your triggers
  • Choosing a date to quit
  • Telling your friends and family about your decision
  • Getting rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays in your house
  • Avoiding places where people smoke
  • Staying busy when you get the urge to smoke

There are also medical drugs that can help you quit smoking. These drugs target nicotine addiction and can make it easier to quit.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a screening test for lung cancer as we have for prostate and breast cancer. This is why lung cancer is the number one killer when it comes to cancer.

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, treatment will depend on the stage of cancer and your overall health. Treatment options generally include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. It is caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds.

There are two main types of skin cancer: melanoma and non-melanoma. Melanoma is the more serious type of skin cancer and can be fatal if not caught early. Non-melanoma skin cancers are less serious and are usually treated successfully.

Symptoms of skin cancer include new or changing moles, dark, patchy spots on the skin, and open sores that don’t heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. 

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid exposure to UV rays. This means wearing sunscreen, staying in the shade, and wearing protective clothing when you are outdoors. You should also avoid using tanning beds.

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, treatment will depend on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Treatment usually involves removing cancer from the skin.