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Cancer surgery, the elderly and negative health events

What level of long-term care and other care an elderly individual ends up needing can be impacted by a great many things. One is whether the individual ends up undergoing surgeries during their elderly years. One type of surgery seniors sometimes require is cancer surgery.

A recent study looked at cancer surgery among older individuals. The data the study looked at regarded a large group of cancer surgery patients age 55 and older. Among the things the study looked at was how common it was for these patients to experience age-related health issues, such as delirium, failure to thrive, bed sores, dehydration, bone breaks and falls.

The study found that around 9.2 percent of the patients experienced such issues. The likelihood of experiencing age-related health issues was particularly high among the patients who were at least 75 and the patients whose cancer surgery was related to stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, ovarian or bladder cancer.

As this illustrates, older cancer surgery patients could not only find themselves facing health issues related to potential complications after their surgery, but also age-related health issues. Age-related health issues can greatly impact the care needs and expenses a person has, particularly when paired with surgical complications.

Careful long-term care planning can be very important for any elderly individual. It can be of particular importance though for elderly individuals especially at risk of facing significant health issues, like individuals who have had a fight with cancer, as they can have a high risk of facing very high care expenses. Skilled estate planning attorneys can help elderly individuals, whatever their circumstances, with setting up a long-term care plan that is properly aligned with their individual situation and goals.  

Source: University of California, Los Angeles, "Injuries and other health concerns are more common in older people after certain cancer surgeries," Kim Irwin, Feb. 16, 2016

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