More than two-thirds of all new cancers are diagnosed among adults aged 60 years and older. As the number of adults living to older ages continues to increase, so will the number of new cancer cases. In 2015, more than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer. Without expanded efforts to prevent cancer, that number is expected to reach 2.1 million by 2030.
Cancer is usually caused by many factors over time. This means that even later in life, there will be opportunities to prevent or delay the onset of new cancers. Research suggests that we can do more as a society to reduce cancer risk and preserve health as adults enter their 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Examples of behaviors that are generally healthy that may lower an individual’s cancer risk:
- Getting enough exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting enough sleep
- Seeking appropriate medical care:
- Managing chronic diseases such as diabetes
- Testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
- Getting help to quit smoking
- Screening for and managing obesity
- Screening for certain types of cancer