Cancer diagnosis in aging patients presents unique problems

Read this article to learn more about the unique problems faced by the elderly if they are diagnosed with cancer

In this November 2018 article in the Toronto Star, Dr. Craig Earle draws on experiences from his own practice to highlight the unique needs of aging cancer patients.

A geriatric assessment can help identify and address elderly patients’ issues, which can include pre-existing health problems and lack of nearby family support.

More and more I’m seeing older cancer patients having to manage the disease alongside other age-related conditions: cognitive decline, organ dysfunction and mobility issues.

This poses serious obstacles for the patient, but also brings new considerations and difficult treatment decisions for oncologists like me, other care providers, and family members.

The article suggests that older people with cancer, and/or their loved ones, can help themselves by doing the following things:

  • Ensure family and friends are aware of their condition so they can maximize support.
  • Monitor and discuss their other health challenges with their cancer team.
  • Discuss and consider the logistical challenges of treatment when making decisions.

Read the full article Cancer diagnosis in aging patients presents unique problems.