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Quality-of-life in elderly patients with cancer: A short review

  • Ulrich Wedding
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author: Address: Internal Medicine Clinic II – Department of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Friedrich Schiller University, Erlanger Allee 101, 07747 Jena, Germany. Tel.: +49 3641 9324216; fax: +49 3641 9324217.
    Affiliations
    Internal Medicine Clinic II – Department of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Friedrich Schiller University, Erlanger Allee 101, 07747 Jena, Germany

    Department of Geriatrics, Ruhr-University Bochum, Marienhospital Herne, Widumerstrasse 8, 44627 Herne, Germany
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  • Ludger Pientka
    Affiliations
    Department of Geriatrics, Ruhr-University Bochum, Marienhospital Herne, Widumerstrasse 8, 44627 Herne, Germany
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  • Klaus Höffken
    Affiliations
    Internal Medicine Clinic II – Department of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Friedrich Schiller University, Erlanger Allee 101, 07747 Jena, Germany
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      Abstract

      Background

      Prolongation of survival and maintenance or improvement of health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) are the two important goals within the treatment of individual patients. Due to the severity of symptoms and the toxicity of treatment, HRQoL has become a major area of concern when treating cancer patients in general and elderly patients in particular.

      Patients and methods

      We present a literature review of HRQoL aspects in elderly patients with cancer and especially address the topic whether impairments in the different tools of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) are associated with decreased HRQoL in elderly cancer patients.

      Results

      Elderly cancer patients tend to weight their HRQoL as more important than gain in survival, when compared to younger patients. An age-dependent decrease in different scales of HRQoL is reported in patients and normative samples. HRQoL is also a predictor of survival. The variation of HRQoL can be used in trials comparing different treatment options. In individual patients, regular measurement of HRQoL aims to improve patients-centred care. Age related impairments of different areas of CGA are associated with decreased HRQoL in elderly cancer patients.

      Conclusions

      HRQoL is an important outcome with elderly cancer patients and should be assessed regularly and thoroughly.

      Keywords

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