6 cancers on the rise in older adults, including liver, breast, and skin cancer

  • Although the overall cancer rate in the United States has been in decline since the 1990s, certain types of cancers are becoming increasingly common, especially in older adults. Those linked to obesity, such as liver and pancreatic cancer, are among the fastest-growing. 
  • People are more at risk of cancer as they age because of a decline in their immune systems, lifestyle factors like diet and alcohol/tobacco use, and treatment of other chronic illnesses.
  • Here are some of the types of cancer on the rise in older adults, factors that may be contributing to the increase, and what you can do to reduce your risk. 
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Age is still the number one risk factor for developing cancer.

And as the older population in the US increases, the number of new cancer cases are expected to rise by as much as 2.1 million by 2030, even as overall cancer rates are declining in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More than 60% of all new cancer diagnoses are in people aged 60 and older, according to the CDC. Older men are more at risk of some of the more prevalent types of cancer, such as liver cancer. But older women continue to be at the highest risk of breast cancer. 

Here are some of the most common types of cancer that are on the rise in older adults, and some of the risk factors contributing to the increase.  

Read more: Experts warn we’re not ready for the ‘silver tsunami’ of older adults living with cancer

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