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Cancer in the Oldest Old

Elderly couple sitting in the park with their dog

The term "Oldest old” is used to describe people ages 85 years and older. In 2018, an estimated 400,643 Texans were at least 85 years old. These adults account for 1.4 percent of the Texas population, and about two-thirds of the oldest old are female.1 The total population of Texas is growing. It’s expected to increase by 88 percent from 2010 to 2050. During this time, the population of the oldest old in Texas is expected to increase by 390 percent. Consistent with population growth in the US, this makes it the fastest growing age group in Texas. By 2050 there will be an estimated 1,495,289 Texans ages 85 years and older.

Understanding the cancer burden on the oldest old is crucial for determining health care requirements as the population of older adults grows in Texas over the next thirty years.

To quantify rates and trends of cancers in the oldest of the old Texans, age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates as well as five-year relative survival rates were calculated for Texans 85 years and older for 2013–2017. The average annual percentage change (AAPC) in age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates from 2008–2017 was used to assess whether rates increased, decreased, or remained stable over time.

Cancer in Oldest Old Footnote
 Texas Demographic Center. Texas Population Projections 2010 to 2050. demographics.texas.gov/Resources/publications/2019/20190925_PopProjectionsBrief.pdf.


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Last updated May 10, 2022