Original Publication Date: 1 August, 2014
Publication / Source: Future Oncology
Authors: Jane Maher
Cancer is primarily a disease of older age. Six in ten new cases each year in the UK occur in those aged 65 years or over , and 13% of the total UK population aged 65 years or over have been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives . However, while cancer mortality rates fell by 16–17% between 1995 and 2005 for under 75-year age group, they reduced by only 6% in the 75–84-year age group and actually rose in the over 85-year age group . Relative survival also decreases with increasing age at diagnosis for the majority of cancers. The average relative 5-year survival in England for the top four most commonly diagnosed cancers in the UK (breast, lung, prostate and bowel) decreases from 64% among those aged 60–69 years at diagnosis to 57% among those aged 70–79 years, and 42% among those aged 80–99 years . Furthermore, relative 5-year survival among those aged 65 years or over is 14% lower in the UK compared with the European average .