Describe the ways that older adults are at greater risk of cancer.
Older adults have an increased risk of developing cancer due to several factors. With aging, cells are exposed to more damage from environmental factors and mutations can accumulate over time. This increases the chance of a cell becoming cancerous. The immune system also becomes less effective with age, making it harder for the body to detect and destroy abnormal cells. Hormonal changes in older adults can also alter cell growth and division, increasing the risk of cancer. Additionally, older adults may have established habits such as tobacco use and sun exposure that increase their risk of cancer. Replicative senescence is a process that occurs as cells approach the limit of their replicative capacity, leading to permanent cell cycle arrest and decreased ability to divide. This process may play a role in reducing the risk of cancer by limiting the number of cell divisions and the accumulation of mutations in cells.