• Question: are some cancers age related?

    Asked by shrike to Jo, Gioia, Iain, Leo, Mariam on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: . This question was also asked by blondes, 1sunshine, larryandharry, thekaties, alisonkatie.
    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Hi Shrike. Almost all cancers get more common with age – in fact three quarters of all the cancers diagnosed in the UK each year are in people aged over 60 and and more than a third are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.

      There are some cancers that are more common at younger ages, for example Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is more common in girls aged 15-19 than in women of any age. These cancers are quite rare though.

    • Photo: Gioia Cherubini

      Gioia Cherubini answered on 17 Jun 2010:

      the older you get, the more likely is that you are going to develop cancer. This is because you have lived long enough to have accumulated mutations in your genes that would lead a normal cell transform into a cancer cell. Around three-quarters (75%) of cases occur in people aged 60 and over, while only 1% occur in children, teenage and young adults

    • Photo: Mariam Orme

      Mariam Orme answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Yes, most cancers are age-related. The longer you live, the more times your cells have divided and so the more likely they are to have picked up mutations (mutations happen when the DNA gets copied during cell division, if the copy isn’t quite exact). And also the older you are, the more likely you are to have been exposed to agents that promote mutations – cigarette smoke, UV light from the sun and so on.