Cancer at age 90. Any advice?

Follow
Share

My father, age 90, has just been diagnosed. Can anyone give advice?

Find Care & Housing
46

Answers

Show:
What, if any, symptoms is he suffering from? IMO, "suffering" is the key here. Plenty of cancers go on and on with no pain.

GF is 90. If he's in no pain, I'd leave it alone. I've seen many seniors die from the treatments, before the cancer itself killed them.

The treatments can be so horrible for them. They can spend the last parts of their lives suffering. And to what end?

I don't think it's worth it. If he's not in pain, let him be. If he is in pain, treat only the pain.

That's what I would do, regardless of the type or location of it.

Best of luck, just enjoy him.
Helpful Answer (42)
Reply to Pepsee
Report

Feb 2018 my 90 year old mom was admitted to hospital and immediately diagnosed with a type of age related bone cancer - they kept asking about history of cancer in the family - we have none I said - they refused to listen. Bone marrow biopsy done - won’t show me results - just kept saying cancer and talking low dose chemo - at 90 and with no history of cancer in the family?! NO. We went for second opinion to Fox Chase Cancer Center - we were told it might be but because mom only had a low blood count and about 50% abnormal cell growth that they wanted to monitor her every 2 months. Blood test and doctor visit every 2 months. SUPER HAPPY to report that as of last visit a few weeks ago the oncologist said « you blood levels are up, you show no other symptomology, abnormal cell growth happens as we get in to the advanced stages of aging and it is nothing to worry about - NO CANCER - come back in 6 months just as a precaution. PLEASE GET A SECOND OPINION!
Helpful Answer (18)
Reply to YiannisKori
Report

I like Shakings idea. But agree with Pepsee. Your parent has ALZ/Dementia. They will not understand what is going on. Maybe not make their needs known. Going under could make the Dementia worse. Its really not fair putting them through a treatment. They can't follow directions. 90 is a long time to live. My decision would be to get Hospice in so my LO was kept comfortable. My Mom didn't like to be touched and poked and prodded.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Two weeks before my mother's 82nd birthday, she received a diagnosis of lung cancer. She had no symptoms then. It had been found on a chest x-ray during an ER visit for a minor, unrelated need. My mother said, "Thanks for the info," and got the heck up out of there. She wanted no parts of "the poison they're selling."

Within a month, a close friend of my mother's was diagnosed with brain cancer. Her friend took the opposite course from my mother's. Surgery, radiation, multiple rounds of chemotherapy.

A year and a half later, my mother and her dear friend flew away within six weeks of each other.

My mother's friend spent the last eighteen months of her life tethered to a cancer center that was a 45 minute drive away from home. She was constantly either in the hospital or making 4 to 6 trips per week to the center for "treatment". Her 85 year old husband barely survived the experience himself.

On the other hand, my mother had over a year of being healthy enough to come and go as she pleased, to enjoy doing the things she loved most to do before she became tenuously ill. Only the last few months of her life were marked by fatigue, shortness of breath, and pain. By then, she was on hospice care. Her symptoms were difficult but manageable. She died as she had wished, at home with my father, my brother and me at her side.

I can't tell you what's right for you and your family. I can tell you I have never been so relieved or so proud as I was the day my mother said, "Thanks for the info." and got away from doctors and cancer treatment as fast as she could run. You already know in your heart what is right; don't be afraid to listen.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to TheDementiaRN
Report

What Pepsee said - if he is not in pain, let it be.

BUT, what does your father want to do? I ask that because when my DH had a cancer scare at 90, he wanted treatments if needed. Thankfully, it was not cancer. We pretty much stopped having him checked for cancers after that. Since he went through Chemo at age 80 for Colon Cancer, I didn't want him to have to do that ever again.

He continued to see the dermatologist twice a year for the pre-cancerous age spots. Those were frozen off.

You'll have to pretty much follow your father's wishes re: treatment. Why not look online for alternative measures? You can google it and today I would use that if I was ever diagnosed with cancer. I don't believe Chemo is the way to go personally, I really do think most of us are over-medicated.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to RayLinStephens
Report

I have no medical advice I only have the knowledge of what I would do if the same were to happen to my grandmother. I don’t know the condition overall of your father perfectly healthy other than the pains of age or otherwise. But if my 91 yr old grandmother were to be diagnosed with cancer I wouldn’t tell her. I wouldn’t treat it, no surgery, no chemo, no radiation. At that age haven’t then been through enough? I think you have to ask yourself are the side effects worth the very minimal gain, if any, on living longer? My grandmother was mysteriously bleeding off and or from the nether regions and I made the choice not to explore for possible explanations. Would having a colonoscopy at her age do her more harm? Does your father need to carry the burden of knowing he has cancer? Would his body even be strong enough for treatment? What would you want for yourself? I’m sorry I seem to be asking more questions than giving my personal advice. This is my take on cancer at the age of 90.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Paulcar
Report

What kind of cancer?

Has it been staged?

Does dad have any cognitive impairments?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

I just saw my 69 year old sister-in-law go through so much suffering and pain with her treatments because the docs thought they could cure her. Get second opinion. Become educated about the cancer. Talk to the pallitive care part of the team and ask for honest assessment. Quality of his days vs quantity of days.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to didiblue52
Report

My mother (87 years) was diagnosed with blood cancer last year. She went through quemotherapy for 6 months and the side effects were just horrible for her. She became very weak while she was in therapy, plus she got depressed, her memory issues got a lot worse. I realized later it was not the best decition, I wish someone have given me another point of view and suggested me a more gentle kind of treatment. More important than having the cure of her illness, now I´m focused on giving her the best quality of life she can have. Good luck
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Paula44
Report

If he was my Father, I would NOT put him through grueling cancer treatments. He’s 90
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to CaregiverL
Report

See All Answers