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Study finds cancer confusion among the elderly

Study finds cancer confusion among the elderly
26th September 2007

A Spanish study has uncovered ignorance about cancer among its elderly, which could have global implications.

In the survey of 557 people aged over 65, some 66 per cent did not realise the risk of cancer increased with age.

Worryingly, 61.2 per cent of the respondents failed to identify being overweight as a risk factor for cancer and just 45.8 per cent knew about the impact of diet.

However, there was a silver lining, with 90 per cent correctly stating that smoking, excessive alcohol and sunbathing increased one's likelihood of developing the disease.

Speaking at the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona, Dr Tania Estape said: "We need to try to improve the knowledge of our elderly so that they can understand that a diagnosis of cancer is not automatically a death sentence, and that there are lifestyle changes they can make now to reduce their risk of cancer developing."

She added: "Information must be presented in a clear and easy manner, and the participation of carers and other assistants should be encouraged."

Barchester provides the right care - For 65 years plus.