Nav: Home

Experts urge stronger emphasis on cancer prevention in older population

May 21, 2019

Cancer prevention efforts rarely focus on the distinct needs and circumstances of older people, who are at greatest risk for developing cancer, but society can do more to reduce cancer risk and preserve health as adults enter their 60s, 70s, and beyond -- according to a new supplement to the journal The Gerontologist from The Gerontological Society of America.

The entire supplement, titled "Opportunities for Cancer Prevention During Older Adulthood," is available free to view online.

In April 2017, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors and the Division of Cancer

Prevention and Control at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a meeting of multidisciplinary experts to examine opportunities for public health action to reduce cancer risk and promote health among older adults. The discussions at this event resulted in the 11 total articles appearing in the supplement.

Serving as guest editors were Richard A. Goodman, MD, JD, MPH, of Emory University and Dawn Holman, MPH, and Mary C. White, ScD of the CDC.

"A comprehensive approach to cancer prevention at older ages would lower exposures to known causes of cancer, promote healthy social and physical environments, expand the appropriate use of clinical preventive services, and engage older adults in these efforts," the editors write, joined by Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH of the CDC, in the opening article.

The supplement's collection of articles calls for such a comprehensive approach, coupled with an intensified application of evidence-based measures and best practices to reduce cancer risk in the growing population of older adults, and provide innovative insights for exciting new directions in research and practice.

Older people represent a growing population at special risk of cancer. More than two-thirds of all new cancers are diagnosed among adults aged 60 and above. In presenting their research and discussing the state of the science, the supplement's authors identify a wide range of targets for prevention activities, including improved health literacy, promotion of adequate sun protection, reduced age discrimination and positive attitudes toward aging, studies on the impact of natural disasters and financial hardship on cancer risk, and the appropriate use of preventive health services at older ages.

"Cancer development is a multi-step process involving a combination of factors," the editors added. "Each cancer risk factor represents a component of cancer causation, and opportunities to prevent cancer may exist at any time up to the final component, even years after the first. The characteristics of the community in which one lives often shape cancer risk-related behaviors and exposures over time, making communities an ideal setting for efforts to reduce cancer risk at a population level."
-end-
The Gerontologist is a peer-reviewed publication of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society -- and its 5,500+ members -- is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA's structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

The Gerontological Society of America

Related Cancer Articles:

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.