Cancer Screening Less Beneficial in Older Patients | Melanoma Dispatch |

Although cancer rates increase with age, screening for cancer may not be useful past a certain age. Older patients already have a shorter life expectancy and may die of other causes before the cancer becomes a problem. Indeed, the psychological burden of a cancer diagnosis and the side effects of cancer treatment may unnecessarily lower a person’s quality of life. While the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that colorectal cancer screening and mammograms for breast cancer screening be stopped after age 75 years, a recent study by the National Cancer Institute suggests that a patient’s overall health should be taken into account. An older patient with multiple chronic illnesses will have a lower life expectancy, while a healthy patient the same age may still benefit from cancer screening.