Why do new cancer diagnoses rise at the age of 65?

Robert Preidt
Health Day reporter

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 (HealthDay News)-A few years ago, Dr. Joseph Shrager, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, noticed Lung cancer The diagnosis rate at 65 is significantly higher than at an earlier or lower age.

Shurag said: “There is no reason for the age difference between 63 and 65 years old.”

He discussed this with his colleagues and they said they saw something similar.

Shurag said in a Stanford press release: “We decided to explore this and its broader implications in a larger population.”

What did they find in the research?Suddenly jumped in cancer This situation in 65-year-old Americans may be due to many elderly people delaying care before getting health insurance.

To reach this conclusion, the research team analyzed data from hundreds of thousands of patients in the United States who were between 61 and 69 years old when they were diagnosed with lung, breast, colon, or colon cancer. Prostate cancer From 2004 to 2016.

carry on

Researchers found that the diagnosis rate of these cancers was higher when transitioning from 64 to 65 years of age than at all other age transitions.

Among 61-64 year-old people, the diagnosis rate of lung cancer continues to increase by 3%-4% every year, but at the age of 65, this ratio doubles.

along with Colon cancer. Before qualifying for Medicare, diagnosis grew at a rate of 1%-2% each year, and then jumped to nearly 15% at the age of 65.

According to a study published in the journal on March 29, the diagnosis rate of all cancers has fallen in the years after the age of 65. cancer.

The study also found that insured cancer patients over the age of 65 are more likely to undergo surgery and have a lower five-year cancer-specific death rate than younger uninsured cancer patients.

“These results collectively show that medical insurance Eligible events coincide with the age of 65 years, and are related to the rise in early cancer diagnosis and the resulting survival benefits. “The researcher wrote.

The senior author of the study Shrager said: “In essence, as people are 65 years old and therefore eligible for health insurance, our cancer diagnosis has improved a lot.” “This shows that many people have financial reasons. They postponed their care until they got health insurance through Medicare.”

carry on

Shrager warned that postponing cancer screening or treatment may affect patients’ chances of survival.

Researchers pointed out that people aged 61-64 “are often lack of insurance due to early retirement, existing conditions hinder renewal, high cost of private insurance, and other reasons.”

Among adults in this age group, 13% to 25% do not have medical insurance, or there is a gap in medical coverage at some point before being eligible for medical insurance.

“If you don’t get the correct screening or timely diagnosis, your cure rate will decrease,” Shrager said. “This research highlights the important differences that a certain type of medical insurance expansion can make.”

More information

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has more on The elderly and cancer.

Source: Stanford University School of Medicine, press release, March 30, 2021

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