As the baby boomer generation continues to reach retirement age, the number of people who survive cancer is expected to rise dramatically. A recent report published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found that the population of cancer survivors is expected to increase by 42 percent in the next 10 years.
"We can expect a dramatic increase in the number of older adults who are diagnosed with or carry a history of cancer," said Dr. Julia Rowland, director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). "Cancer is largely a disease of aging, so we're seeing yet another effect of the baby boom generation and we need to prepare for this increase."
Rowland added that assisted living facilities and healthcare centers need to prepare themselves, especially because the amount of oncologists and geriatric specialists is decreasing.
Caregivers who are providing home care to a loved one who has survived cancer may want to think about a retirement living community where the senior will not only be able to get the around-the-clock care he or she needs but also be around peers.