Research Paper

Research PaperNameInstitutionInstructorCourseDate Research PaperDifferent populations have health issues that are attributed to their social, cultural, and behavior factors. This increases the risk of these populations in acquiring or developing certain health issues affecting the health status and health outcomes of the populations (Scardamalia, 2014). One of these groups includes the elderly population that has increased due to the baby boom generation. This population includes individual who were born between 1946 and 1964 after the World War II. Most of the individuals in this group have retired with their population set to increase to 18% by 2030 from their current 13% of the total United States’ population (Scardamalia, 2014). This is close to 40 million Americans which has been indicated to put a strain on the American healthcare system. Most of these individuals are over 65 years old increasing their risk to develop chronic illness such as cancer (Scardamalia, 2014). This paper comprehensively discusses the baby boom generation and how different factors have contributed to health outcomes associated with cancer. The Older Population/Baby BoomersThe first group of baby boomers turned 65 in 2010 with this population continuing to increase each year. This population was born after World War II due to an economic boost in the United States that encouraged most of the American citizens to have children (Scardamalia, 2014). However, due to their age and low income as most of these individuals have retired from their employment, most of them are unable to access quality healthcare services that negatively contribute to poor health outcomes within this population (Scardamalia, 2014). This increases the risk of developing chronic illnesses. With most of the older individuals living longer than their parents and grandparents did in the past, this has brought a challenge in the healthcare system due to increasing demand for healthcare services which is already having a nursing shortage (Scardamalia, 2014). The elderly individuals have been indicated as the largest consumers of healthcare resources due to their increased healthcare needs. From hospital surveys, this population composes 35% of total hospital admissions, 30% of hospital emergencies, and 25% of doctor visits (Davis, 2013). Research has also indicated a large percentage of baby boomers to have serious medical issues. Due to these statistics, most of these individuals are required to have regular checkups in the aim of improving their health (Davis, 2013). Baby boomers align closely with the young generation in diverse aspects that include their views on health, cultural, and social activities. This population is different to the populations that preceded them in diverse ways. Baby boomers are more health conscious with the older generations being shy to speak about some of the health issues affecting them (Davis, 2013). This population has also smaller families and different demographic trends that have led to the increased demand for healthcare services. They are able to understand more aspects related to healthcare better than their previous counterparts did (Davis, 2013). Information derived from healthcare practitioners indicates that they are able to interact with these individuals and involve them in the decision-making process just as the young patients. Baby boomers came at a time of an economic boost as well as social change (Davis, 2013). This population adopted a new culture with technology playing a major role in the development of this culture. This positively enhances this population in addressing some of the health issues affecting them with most of the individuals focusing on healthy habits and foods to improve their health in diverse aspects (Davis, 2013). CancerCancer is a disease that is attributed to the growth and multiplication of abnormal cells in the body. This disease is serious in that it may affect any body part through the spread of the cancerous cells to other body parts (Steven, Lange, Schulz, & Bleich, 2019). This disease starts by normal body cells turning cancerous which spread to nearby cells as they continue to grow. This disease affects all individuals regardless of their age. However, due to a weak immune system that is associated with older individuals and other age related issues, this population has a high risk of developing cancer (Steven et al., 2019). However, advancements in technology have enabled healthcare practitioners to effectively treat different types of cancer and side effects that are associated with this disease. Although there is no known cause of cancer, there are certain risk factors that may lead to cancer that include obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and exposure to toxic substances (Steven et al., 2019). Due to the negative effects associated with cancer and the side effects of treatment, most patients may face stigma and discrimination in the community an aspect that may negatively affect them. This may cause stress on the patients and other psychological issues (Steven et al., 2019). Treatment involves chemotherapy and using surgery to remove the cancerous cells. A healthy diet and involvement in physical activities also play an important role in addressing this disease. Older individuals can participate in light exercise which can be managed by a healthcare professional. This can be done in collaboration with a healthy diet to improve their overall health status (Steven et al., 2019). Relationship between Cancer and the Older Population/ Baby BoomersCancer has been largely attributed to a poor lifestyle as well exposure to certain harmful substances that may cause cancer. Older populations have been indicated to be affected by these factors that contribute to the development of cancer (White et al., 2014). These include a prolonged exposure to carcinogens such as sunlight, chemicals in foods, and environmental aspects. As individuals continue to age, the risk to develop cancer increases due to the development of other chronic illnesses (White et al., 2014). Cells of older populations have genome instability that may lead to increased mutations leading to the development of cancerous cells. These mutations may disrupt genes that are responsible for regulating cell growth and development where normal body cells begin to grow uncontrollably (White et al., 2014). Information provided by the National Cancer Institute indicate one quarter of new cancer cases involving individuals between the age of 65 and 75 with breast, prostate, and lung cancer being common in this group (White et al., 2014). Another contributing factor is lifestyle changes as individuals continue to age which increases the probability of these individuals to develop cancer in their later years. This includes decreased physical activity and eating unhealthy foods due to limited financial resources to buy healthy foods that are expensive to access (National Institutes of Health, 2014). Most of the available resources are used in managing other health issues that may also affect these individuals due to their age. Protective factors surrounding this population include their health conscious perspective with individuals regularly going for checkups to determine their health status (National Institutes of Health, 2014). This may include screening of some of the chronic illnesses including cancer. This is important since the effectiveness of cancer treatment is based on the staging of cancer with an early diagnosis enabling a successful cancer treatment process (National Institutes of Health, 2014). Current Strategies/InterventionsThe federal government has continually made progress in developing effective interventions to help in addressing cancer, as this is a disease that has been ranked among the top causes of deaths across the United States (CDC, 2014). One of these interventions is the provision of insurance coverage services to all individuals including the old population with Medicare and Medicaid programs focusing on the old and disabled individuals. Access to health insurance is important in enabling individuals to access information related to cancer prevention and treatment options. With this information, individuals are able to implement personal interventions to improve their health status (CDC, 2014). This information includes the adoption of healthy lifestyles that can be useful in enhancing their health status in diverse perspectives. The government in collaboration with other healthcare stakeholders has developed strategies to address this health issue due to the negative effects associated with the issue (CDC, 2014). This includes developing more cancer centers to provide information and treatment to all individuals. The government has also supported research related to cancer management and addressing some of the risk factors that are associated with the development of cancer among the elderly (CDC, 2014). Other agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also participated in cancer prevention by focusing on cancer screening programs which involve community members. These programs address some of the risk factors that are attributed to the development of cancer. This agency also provides some of the resources that are required in preventing and addressing cancer-related issues to all individuals including the elderly (CDC, 2014). This also involves changes to the social environment and health education to vulnerable populations that include the elderly. Some of the challenges to interventions and programming include addressing some of the psychosocial issues affecting cancer patients (Meyskens et al., 2015). These issues may negatively affect the implementation of personal interventions to improve their well-being. This is because some of the interventions require personal participation which may not be guaranteed even after health education and the implementation of certain interventions (Meyskens et al., 2015). Recommendations/ConclusionOne advantage of the baby boomers generation is their health conscious mentality which means that this population is likely to participate in health-related interventions to address some of the chronic illnesses associated with this group including cancer (Fingrut, Beck, & Lo, 2018). Based on this fact, one of the recommendations may include using leaders within the community to participate in health education. This will help this population to feel represented in important matters as well as enable the healthcare sector to develop effective health interventions (Fingrut, Beck, & Lo, 2018). Due to their limited resources, a support center can be developed to provide access to important resources by this group. This is because this population may have special needs that require specialized support. Due to the high costs that are associated with cancer treatment, more focus should be placed on cancer prevention (Fingrut, Beck, & Lo, 2018). This will allow the development of effective programs to ensure that the right and adequate interventions are implemented to prevent the development and advancement of this disease. This will play a key role in improving the health status and health outcome of this population in relation to cancer management Fingrut, Beck, & Lo, 2018). ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Preventing Chronic Disease. Cancer Prevention and Worksite Health Promotion: Time to Join Forces. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/14_0127.htmDavis, P. (2013). Baby boomer longevity: Strategies to transform your health. South Carolina: Createspace Independent Publishing.Fingrut, W., Beck, L. A., & Lo, D. (2018). Building an Oncology Community of Practice to Improve Cancer Care. Current Oncology, 25(6), 371–377.Meyskens, F. L., Jr, Mukhtar, H., Rock, C. L., Cuzick, J., Kensler, T. W., Yang, C. S., & Alberts, D. S. (2015). Cancer Prevention: Obstacles, Challenges, and the Road Ahead. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 108(2), djv309. doi:10.1093/jnci/djv309.National Institutes of Health. (2014). NIH study offers insight into why cancer incidence increases with age. Retrieved from https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-study-offers-insight-into-why-cancer-incidence-increases-ageScardamalia, R. (2014). Aging in America. Lanham, Md.: Bernan Press.Steven, B., Lange, L., Schulz, H., & Bleich, C. (2019). Views of Psycho-Oncologists, Physicians, And Nurses on Cancer Care-A qualitative study. Plos One, 14(1), e0210325. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210325.White, M. C., Holman, D. M., Boehm, J. E., Peipins, L. A., Grossman, M., & Henley, S. J. (2014). Age and cancer risk: a potentially modifiable relationship. American journal of preventive medicine, 46(3), 7–15. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2013.10.029

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