chapter  15
30 Pages

Cervical, Endometrial, and Vulvar Cancer

ByDavid H. Moore

During the 20th century, the number of persons under 65 years of age living in the United States tripled; however, the number of persons over 65 years of age increased by a factor of 11 (1). The older population is expected to double by the year 2030. The percentage of women 65 years of age and older has also increased from 13.1% in 1980 to 14.6% in 1990 (2). The incidence of most cancers increases with age. Approximately 50% of all cancers-and 60% of cancer deaths-occur in people over 65 years of age (3). Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in women between the ages of 35 and 75 years. As the population continues to age, and the number of older cancer patients continues to increase, it is essential that the medical community not only study cancer biology and clinical care relevant to the aged, but also appreciate the unique concerns and quality of life expectations of the elderly. For these patients, it is unfortunate that much of what we know about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of specific cancers is derived from studies conducted in younger patient populations (4).