By Frederick F. Holmes M.D. (auth.)
The lifetime of a man or woman is finite, and all people age (see Fries 1980). it really is tricky to split the results of ailment on organs and tissues from these anticipated of getting older. this can be rather real for vascular and degenerative procedures, for which there are not any transparent obstacles among getting older and illness. Morbidity and mortality from center ailment and stroke are most likely due either to illness and to adjustments of getting older. For melanoma, the second one best explanation for demise in the US, the placement is sort of various; melanoma is obviously a sickness and isn't a transformation anticipated with getting older. melanoma prevalence raises nearly logarithmically after age forty. within the usa approximately one-half of all situations of melanoma are clinically determined after age sixty five, even if these over sixty five contain lower than one-eighth of the inhabitants. therefore, melanoma is particularly a lot a sickness of the aged. There are at the least purposes for this: first, the lengthy publicity to cancer-inducing brokers, and moment, the waning strength of immune defenses opposed to cancer.
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In fact, as Fig. 1 clearly depicts, the age-specific incidence is nearly constant from middle age through extreme old age for invasive disease. , local and beyond, is totally preventable (Gellman 1976; Macdonald et al. 1973). The Papanicolaou smear (Pap test) has proved to be the most effective cancer screening test devised. Regularly performed on adult females it should reliably detect virtually all stage 0 cervical cancer. Of course, it will detect invasive cancer, too. When asked, most gynecologists will admit that they see relatively few older women as a percentage of their entire practice.
40 30 20 '0 0 I 3 65-74 I 5 I 3 75-84 3 85-94 Fig. 3. J ~ :;: so a: :I II) 40 30 20 10 0 3 65-74 I 3 75-84 3 85-94 Fig. 4. Years survival by age and time groups for distantly spread cervical cancer Distant 41 Distant There is not a sufficient number of cases for plotting survival curves for any of the three age groups (Fig. 4). Perhaps this is a good omen, because distantly spread cervical cancer is essentially an untreatable disease. For all intents and purposes chemotherapy is without effect.
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Aging and Cancer by Frederick F. Holmes M.D. (auth.)