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The Most Common Types of Senior Cancer and The Symptoms

Jan 15, 2018 by Larry Morgan

Aging is a wonderful thing. You get to live exciting experiences, start a family and maybe even have grandkids, and live a happy end-of-life experience in retirement.

That’s not to say that everything is sunshine and rainbows, though. There are many health-related issues that come with older age, and increased cancer risk is one of them.

Here are five of the most common forms of cancer found in seniors, along with their causes and symptoms:

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can be very nasty and painful, as tumors grow in your lungs and cause complications.

The scary thing about this form of cancer is that it is very rarely found at an early stage, which is when it’s the best time to get diagnosed and start treatment. That’s why it’s important to be informed on the causes and symptoms of the disease.

Causes and risk factors include:

  • Smoking (including pipes and cigars)
  • Long-term exposure to Asbestos
  • Genetics
  • Secondhand/environmental exposure to tobacco smoke

Lung cancer symptoms to be weary of are:

  • A constant cough, or a cough that is worsening with time instead of getting better
  • Bone pain
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Having a hard time catching one’s breath

As with many cancers, lung cancer may actually not show any symptoms at all. If you have any of the above risk factors, it’s important to get yourself screened for cancer regularly.

Symptoms of? Colon Cancer

Most cases of this cancer affect seniors, with over 90 percent of people diagnosed being over 50 years old. Luckily, if this cancer is detected in stage 1, there is more than a 95% chance of survival.

The causes and risk factors of colon cancer are not completely known, but here are some factors that may increase your chances of the disease:

  • A diet too heavy with meat
  • Genetics
  • A diet with too many processed foods
  • Age (as mentioned above)

Colon cancer has a large genetic influence. The more you’re able to recognize symptoms such as the following, the earlier you can get treated and the better off you are:

  • Constant abdominal pain (from gas, cramps, and so forth)
  • Constipation
  • Bloody stool
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Severe weight loss

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Over 60 percent of those diagnosed with this form of cancer are over the age of 60. Survival rate drastically depends on at what stage the cancer is caught.


The most common causes/risk factors of stomach cancer that we know of are:

  • Genetics (especially those with South American or Asian decent)
  • Smoking
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • A diet heavy in meat
  • Heavy drinking
  • A diet high in salty/processed foods

Stomach cancer typically isn’t caught until later stages, but recognizing any of these symptoms may help make it earlier:

  • Jaundice
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea/vomiting

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

It’s important to note that both men and women are at risk of breast cancer. In women, more than 80 percent of cases are found in those over 50.

Researchers are still trying to figure out the causes and risk factors, but what is known so far is:

  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Heavy drinking
  • High levels of estrogen

If caught in the early stages, survival for breast cancer can be between 93 and 100 percent. Therefore, keep in mind these symptoms:

  • A lump in the breast tissue or armpit
  • Nipple discharge
  • Breast/nipple pain
  • Redness/thickening of skin on breast
  • Breast swelling

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

This form of cancer is exclusive to men. The most common causes and risk factors for this form are:

  • Being a man over 50 years old
  • Genetics
  • Being African American
  • Diets heavy in meat or dairy

Symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Bloody urine
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Problems urinating
  • Lower body pain, such as in the lower back, hips, and so forth

These are just some of the most common cancers found in seniors. If you notice any of these symptoms or are concerned at all about your cancer risk, talk to your physician right away.

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