Aging and Cancer by Frederick F. Holmes M.D. (auth.)

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 tough to split the results of affliction on organs and tissues from these anticipated of getting older. this can be relatively real for vascular and degenerative procedures, for which there are not any transparent obstacles among getting older and ailment. Morbidity and mortality from center ailment and stroke are most likely due either to sickness and to alterations of getting older. For melanoma, the second one prime explanation for loss of life in the USA, the placement is kind of assorted; melanoma is obviously a affliction 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 supposing these over sixty five include under one-eighth of the inhabitants. therefore, melanoma is particularly a lot a ailment of the aged. There are not less than 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 most patients, lymphoma cells are 500 100 50-54 S5-S8 10-14 15-'. 70-7. AGE IN YEARS 75-78 80-84 8S. Fig. 1. Incidence of lymphoma in USA 1973-1977 51 All Stages probably widespread at the time of diagnosis, though this is often impossible to demonstrate. For this reason radiotherapy has not been the agent of cure that it has been in Hodgkin's disease. Chemotherapy has been effective in controlling the measurable manifestations of the lymphomas, and may often be curative in the most malignant forms, such as histiocytic lymphoma and Burkitt's lymphoma (De Vita et al.

1975), based mainly on extent of disease. However, the patients in this series are presented as one stage. All Stages The chronic and indolent character of the disease is clearly portrayed by the survival curves shown in Fig. 2. Early mortality is only two to three times that for the general population, but excess mortality persists well beyond 5 years. These are the characteristics of a single chronic disease, in contrast to the lymphomas, for example, and the disease is probably never cured.

3), the other half are probably cured by surgery. Neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy is of particular use in this stage. Death from the disease after 5 years is a factor, and late recurrence is not unusual. Obviously there is a great need to develop means of systemic therapy, particularly as adjuvant to potentially curative surgery, in this stage of the disease. I :) 30 20 Fig. 3. I :) 30 20 Fig. 4. Years survival by age and time groups for distantly spread colorectal cancer 10 , \ \ \ \ \ \ '\ '\ '\ '\ '\ '\ '\ 0 '\ 3 65-74 3 75-64 3 85-94 5 26 Colon and Rectum Distant Just about 15% of all cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed at this stage, with little variation among the three age groups and between the two time periods.

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