Contribution of the geriatrician to the management of cancer in older patients

Published:September 13, 2007DOI:


      With an increasingly aged population, many patients will present with cancer in their 80s and 90s. Although some may be very fit, frail individuals will require the input of geriatricians to aid in the assessment of co-existing morbidity, in an attempt to assess those most likely to benefit from active treatment of their cancer, and those in whom the ‘giants of geriatric medicine’ require special consideration before undergoing definitive cancer therapy. The role of the geriatrician in assessment and management of such patients, together with communication and end of life care, may be more important in ensuring a good quality of life, than the cancer therapy itself.
      Whilst numbers of geriatricians will not be adequate to care for all elderly patients with cancer, a variety of assessment scales will help target financial and manpower resources to those most at risk.


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