Surviving Cancer

Frequently Asked Questions

4. Why does my age at diagnosis affect my survival?

Cancer Treatment and Older Adults Cancer Treatment and Older Adults - opens in new window
Video length: 55 sec
Click to watch this video

Older adults are more likely to have chronic health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Managing these conditions can complicate treatment and affect the time it takes to recover. Also, older people's bodies metabolize, or break down, drugs at a slower rate than younger people, and this can have an effect on the way medicines are tolerated. For instance, some older adults may not be able to tolerate high doses of chemotherapy (cancer-fighting drugs) and radiation that are used to treat cancer.