Cancer Prevention During Older Adulthood

CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control sponsored a supplemental issueexternal icon of The Gerontologist about ways to reduce cancer risk during older adulthood. The authors are experts from many different fields, showing the importance of working together to find effective ways to prevent cancer.

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 too will the number of new cancer cases. In 2018, more than 1.7 million people were diagnosed with cancer. Without more efforts to prevent cancer, that number is expected to reach more than 2.2 million by 2050, with the largest percentage increase among adults who are 75 years old or older.

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.

Photo of Dr. Robyn Stone

“The supplement sparked my own thinking about how we might go about developing a national prevention initiative for the 65-plus population that would span a variety of diseases, including cancer,” says Dr. Robyn Stone in this blog post.

Articles in the Supplement

Page last reviewed: September 3, 2021