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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 01/28/2005
  • Reviewed: 09/30/2009

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Slide 38

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Cancer Risk and Aging

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Because a number of mutations usually must occur for cancer to arise, the chances of developing cancer increase as a person gets older because more time has been available for mutations to accumulate. For example, a 75-year-old person is a hundred times more likely to develop colon cancer than a 25-year-old. Because people are living longer today than they did 50 or 100 years ago, they have a longer exposure time to factors that may promote gene changes linked to cancer.

Cancer Risk and Aging