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The Most Common Types of Cancers for Men and Women. Are You at Risk?

written by Dr. Christine Bishara - Apr 15, 2024

Photo Credit: from
Photo Credit: from

Cancer is a pervasive and challenging disease that affects millions of people worldwide, placing a significant burden on individuals, families, and healthcare systems. For men and women over the age of 50, the risk of developing cancer increases, with certain types being more common.

The good news is that the survival rates for many types of cancer can be improved with early detection, quality treatment, and survivorship care. This underscores the importance of awareness, and lifestyle modifications in reducing the cancer burden. In this article, we will explore the most common types of cancer affecting men and women over 50, their risk factors, and the significance of preventative measures in the fight against cancer.

Cancer Incidence by Age

The incidence of cancer increases with age, and most cases are diagnosed in people aged 50 and over. The risk of cancer increases as we age because the cells in our body become damaged over time, and cancer develops when damage in the same cell builds up. The older we get, the more time there is for cell damage to build up, which can lead to cancer. The incidence rates for cancer overall climb steadily as age increases, from fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 people in age groups under age 20, to more than 1,000 per 100,000 people in age groups 60 years and older. More than nine out of 10 cancers are diagnosed in people 45 and older, with those older than 74 making up almost 28% of all new cancer cases.

According to the U.S. Cancer Statistics, among adults aged 55 years or older, men have a higher rate of getting cancer than women.

The overall cancer death rate is higher among men than women, and the rate of new cancer cases is 442.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. The most common cancers in men over 50 are prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers, while for women, the most common are breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.

Most Common Types of Cancers Over the Age of 50


● Prostate

● Lung

● Colorectal

The 3 most common types of cancer for men over the age of 50 are prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the U.S., other than skin cancer, and is also the second-leading cause of cancer death (after lung cancer). Prostate cancer is more likely to occur in men over the age of 65. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer death. Colorectal cancer is also a significant concern for men over 50, as the risk of developing this cancer increases with age.


● Breast

● Lung

● Colorectal

The three most common types of cancer for women over the age of 50 are breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, except for skin cancer, and it's also the second-leading cause of cancer death (after lung cancer). Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, and it's often diagnosed at a later stage when it's harder to treat. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in women, and it's more common in older women.

The reason why these cancers are more common in women over 50 is not entirely clear, but age is the biggest risk factor for cancer, and the risk of developing cancer increases as people get older

Risk Factors and Prevention

The risk of cancer increases significantly with age, particularly for individuals over 50. Several factors contribute to this heightened risk:

1. Cell damage accumulation: As cells age, they accumulate damage from normal cellular processes, as well as from external factors such as UV radiation, chemicals, and viruses.

2. Chronic inflammation: Aging is associated with chronic inflammation, which can promote the development of cancer.

3. Immune system decline: The immune system weakens with age, making it less effective at detecting and eliminating cancerous cells.

4. Lifestyle factors: Unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, and lack of physical activity can increase cancer risk.

5. Epigenetic changes: DNA methylation issues can disable the expression of certain genes, making it easier for cells to transition to cancer. For more information on methylation defects read this article

To lower the risk of cancer in individuals over 50, consider the following preventative measures:

1. Healthy diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, while limiting processed foods, red meat, and added sugars. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to lower risk since the process of autophagy (Elimination of old and dysfunctional cells) occurs during fasting states.

2. Physical activity: Engage in regular physical activity, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

3. Weight management: Maintain a healthy weight, as excess body fat can increase the risk of certain cancer such as breast and colon cancer.

4. Smoking cessation: Quit smoking, as smoking is a major risk factor for many cancers.

5. Alcohol moderation: Limit alcohol consumption, as excessive alcohol intake can increase the risk of certain cancers such as breast, colon and bladder cancer.

6. Sun protection: Protect yourself from skin cancer by staying out of the sun during peakUV hours (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), wearing protective clothing, and using broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.

7. Regular cancer screenings: Follow recommended cancer screening guidelines, such as colorectal cancer screening for adults 45 to 75, lung cancer screening for adults 50 to 80 at high risk, and mammography screenings for women 50 and over.

8. HPV vaccination: Consider the HPV vaccine, which can help prevent certain cancers caused by the human papillomavirus.

9. Chronic inflammation management: Manage chronic inflammation through lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.

10. Immunity support: Maintain a healthy immune system by getting adequate sleep, managing stress, and practicing good hygiene.


Canada pharmacy carries over 50 different medications commonly used in the treatment of various cancers. Here’s a full list that Canada Pharmacy carries:

Order Cancer Medications at Canada Pharmacy Online

If you’re being currently being treated with any of the above medications, It’s good to compare prices since some medications may not be covered by your insurance company.

Some common meds include:

1- Tamoxifen (brand names: Nolvadex, Soltamox) for some breast cancers

2- Bicalutamide (Casodex) for some prostate cancers

3- Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin) for some colon cancers


As we navigate the complex landscape of cancer, understanding the risks and prevention strategies for individuals aged 50 and above is crucial. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it is vital to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and to consult a healthcare provider if any concerns arise. Regular check-ups and cancer screenings, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests, can help identify cancer at an early stage, when it is more treatable.

By understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to prevent cancer, we can empower ourselves and our loved ones to lead healthier, longer lives. Remember, knowledge is power, and staying informed about cancer risks and prevention strategies can make all the difference.



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