Cancer and Alzheimer’s are the number one and two diseases seniors fear the most, according to a 2010 survey of people 50 and older conducted by MetLife’s Mature Market Institute.

Ranking first was cancer at 41 percent, followed by Alzheimer’s at 31 percent. Yet in a telephone survey of roughly 1,000, only 18 percent said they have made financial arrangements in the event they do become ill with Alzheimer’s. That’s despite the finding that 37 percent say it’s important to make plans if felled by the disease.

More than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, a number that is expected to grow as baby boomers age, MetLife researchers state.

Rounding out the top five most-feared diseases are: heart disease and stroke (both at 8 percent) and diabetes (6 percent).

Source: MetLife’s Mature Market Institute

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