American Cancer Society: 8% of new cancer diagnoses are elderly people


Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the oldest old

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — A new report from the American Cancer Society highlights rates of new cancer cases and deaths among adults 85 years old and older, sometimes called the “oldest old.”

According to the study, people 85 and over only represent 2% of the population. However, this same group also makes up 8% of all new cancer diagnoses.

The study reported that the “oldest old” community is expected to nearly triple from 6.4 million in 2016 to 19.0 million by 2060. Hagerstown resident, Richard Everhart is in his 70s, he had colon cancer for over 20 years. He was diagnosed in his 50s.

“Medicine, I had 38 chemos and 29 radiation treatments when I had my cancer after they did my surgery because they took 14 inches out of my colon,” Everhart said.

Everhart noted that cancer isn’t uncommon in his family. His older brother battled it as well.

“My brother you know he just lived down there, he died of cancer, I spent his last couple of months with him,” Everhart said.

He also mentioned that he’s not necessarily fearful if cancer spurred back up in his system again.

“It is what it is and it was what it was, I’m just happy that it’s not there anymore,” Everhart added.

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