Adults aged 85 years and older, the “oldest old,” are the fastest-growing age group in the United States, yet relatively little is known about their cancer burden. Combining data from the National Cancer Institute, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, and the National Center for Health Statistics, the authors provide comprehensive information on cancer occurrence in adults aged 85 years and older. In 2019, there will be approximately 140,690 cancer cases diag-nosed and 103,250 cancer deaths among the oldest old in the United States. The most common cancers in these individuals (lung, breast, prostate, and colorectum) are the same as those in the general population. Overall cancer incidence rates peaked in the oldest men and women around 1990 and have subsequently declined, with the pace accelerating during the past decade. These trends largely reflect declines in cancers of the prostate and colorectum and, more recently, cancers of the lung among men and the breast among women.
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