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The following common cancer diseases among the elderly:
Colorectal Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Breast Cancer
Liver Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Consisting of the colon and rectum, the large intestine constitutes the tail of the digestion system. Most of the polyps, ulcerations or masses observed on intestinal walls, as a result of irregular cell growth, are benign though a small number of them may evolve into malignant tumors, or colorectal cancer.
Those aged 50 or above or with a family history of colorectal cancer are more likely to suffer the disease than others.
Keep alert regarding the following symptoms:
  • Blood or mucus in stools or dark stools or rectal bleeding; 
  • Sudden change of defecating pattern (constant constipation or diarrhea) or change of stool shape (small strips);
  • Decline of body weight;
  • Abdominal discomfort (distension or intestinal colic);
  • Indecisive defecating;
  • Anemia symptoms: freezing coldness of the hands and feet, fatigue, quickening of the heartbeat, asthma, pale complexion, dizziness. 
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Prostate Cancer
In the US, prostate cancer is the most commonly seen malignant tumor among male citizens. In Hong Kong, the disease comes in fifth place among the top ten most fatal cancers. Numbers of prostate cancer patients have also been on the rise constantly in recent years, in most cases with an onset age of 50 and above. As malignant prostatic tumors grow at a slow rate and with low observable symptoms at the early stage, many delay the diagnosis until the mid or even terminal stage, which makes it more difficult to contain the growth of the tumor cells.   
Prostate cancer is so chronic and unobservable at the early stage that the tumor cells can remain latent in one’s body for years without being perceived.
The following symptoms may suggest a sign of prostatic hypertrophy or tumor metastasis:
  • Frequent urination, especially during night
  • Urine obstruction (time-consuming urination)
  • Urine stinging when taking a pee
  • Blood in urine or sperm
  • Pelvic or backbone pain and swollen feet
Please note that benign prostate hypertrophy may also lead to the above symptoms. Therefore, once any of such symptoms are present, one should go to see a doctor as soon as possible. 
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Breast Cancer
Abnormal splitting and growth of mammary gland cells can lead to benign or malignant tumors. The odds of having a malignant tumor, or breast cancer, increase with age. 
Elderly females displaying the following symptoms may have breast cancer:
(I) Breast
  • Hard lumps of any sizes*
  • Change in shape or size
  • Spot-shaped concaves on the skin
  • Vein dilation or orange peel-like skin
(II) Nipple
  • Unprovoked fluid/blood excretion
  • Cupped nipple
(III) Armpit
  • Swelling or lymph node enlargement
Relevant websites and articles
Liver Cancer
Liver cancer is the third most fatal cancer in Hong Kong, following lung cancer and colorectal cancer. It is reported that the number of liver cancer patients grows at a rate of approx. 1,700 each year, of which more than 1,400 die eventually. About 70% of the newly added victims are male and the average age of onset is 60-65.
Symptoms of liver cancer include:
  • Discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen, especially in the top right corner
  • Pain of the right shoulder: a swelling liver irritates the nerves in the diaphragm,    which happen to be linked with those distributed in the right shoulder
  • Loss of appetite, loss of body weight, nausea and lethargy
  • Hard lump in the upper abdomen
  • Yellowish skin and slight yellowing in the white part of the eye, skin itchiness   accompanied by jaundice as bile pigment accumulates in the blood due to the blocking of the bile duct by the tumor
  • Tea-colored urine and light gray stools
  • Hydrops abdominis

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Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer is the sixth most fatal cancer in Hong Kong, leaving nearly 400 dead each year. The onset age is 65 on average. The odds of contracting the disease are equal for males and females.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer patients may include:
  • Persistent pain in the upper abdomen unrelated to food digestion and may spread to one’s back
  • Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal distention and other stomach and intestinal disorders
  • Jaundice, skin itchiness, stools having the color of pottery clay 
  • Rapid loss of body weight
  • Unmovable hard lump in the upper abdomen
  • Hydrops abdominis
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For more information, please visit Elderly Health Service
If you have health concerns, you are welcome to visit Community CareAge Foundation for online help. You may also have access to the list of doctors of general departments and special departments of The Medical Council of Hong Kong.
Formally registered-local list
Formally registered-non-local list 
Provisionally registered
Limited registration
(Source:  Smart Patient-Disease Management
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