Does being Old make you more Susceptible to Cancer?

Along life's road, a number of health problems pose as obstacles and we overcome them to recover fully. But as we grow older, we find our resistance levels decreasing considerably. Suddenly, that particular cough medicine does not seem just as effective as it used to be when we were young. What has happened in the long run? We are the same; our medicine is just the same. Then why is this non-performance from the medicine?

Well, the answer has a lot to do with our tissues. With advancing age, the tissues in our bodies begin to age too. And this may make us susceptible to the dreaded cancer, which needs just such a tissue to grow and that too particularly in senior adults.

Before we proceed further, let us understand what the term ‘mutations' mean and how they affect the human body.

The complete hereditary information of an individual, i.e. the genome is programmed in the DNA or RNA; the latter, in case of presence of a virus. When there are any changes in the sequence of the DNA in the genome of the cell or of the DNA or RNA in the virus, this leads to changes in the genomic sequence and these are called as "mutations".

There are many causes for the birth of mutations, like changes during the replication of DNA, viruses, radiation or they may even be caused due to the effect of chemicals.

A maximum portion of mutations are already amassed in an individual's body by the time he reaches the phase of early youth. But these mutations do not cause cancer as the body is strong enough to fight the disease. However, it was studied that the body's mechanism to fight against cancer begins depreciating as it starts aging.

The human body remains healthy because of healthy and younger tissues, but in cases of older tissues, the healthy cells begin losing out on their vigor, giving rise to mutations, which in turn, may contribute to assisting a cancer cell to adapt in some ways that a healthy cell cannot. Thus begins the journey of cancer in the human body.

Can we prevent cancer?

Health news says that the correct answer is that we can try and take precautions against the formation of this alarming disease in the following ways:

Many cancers find their root cause in smoking; so avoid smoking.
Do not expose yourself to too much sun.
Maintain a nourishing diet. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in it.
Preserve your fitness by maintaining a healthy weight and exercise too.
Consume alcohol only in moderate amounts and that too only if you must have it.
Check whether you fall in the "risk-of-cancer" category and do not neglect to perform due tests on screening of cancer.
Consult your doctor for inoculations for certain viruses.
This is the least we can do in the prevention of onset of cancer. Even then, we cannot say for sure that there are absolutely nil chances of cancer striking us.

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