Cancer treatment is different for patients of all ages, from the very young to the very old. The average mesothelioma patient is 50-70 years old, and as such, mesothelioma patients and survivors face unique challenges.
When a person is diagnosed with cancer at an advanced age, he or she faces a greater risk of encountering changes in the quality of his or her life. For example, older cancer patients are at an increased risk of cognition and memory problems. A higher incidence of pre-existing or age-related chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes also complicates cancer treatment for older patients who may not be able to tolerate the rigors of cancer treatment as easily as younger patients can.
The finances of cancer are also different for older patients, who may be living on fixed incomes or have limited medical insurance and thus may find that the costs of cancer treatment create financial hardship.
This is not to say that older cancer patients are always frail or weak: in many cases, older individuals have a prospective on life that allows them to tap into incredible wells of inner strength and resilience. Furthermore, older cancer patients often have an extensive network of friends, family members, and other people who can offer support.
No matter what the age of the patient is, cancer inevitably brings about drastic life changes. If an older person in your life has been diagnosed with cancer or is undergoing cancer treatment, you can offer support by taking the time to listen to his or her unique concerns and challenges.