The risk of cancer increases with age. As such the sub-speciality of Geriatric Oncology is growing in popularity.
What is Geriatric Oncology?
The older population are very diverse in terms of 'fitness' and overall are more likely to have specific needs which differ to those of younger people. For example many older people may:
experience functional difficulties with tasks such as dressing, shopping, bathing and handling finances
have limited access to social, practical and financial support
have co-existing health problems such as diabetes, dementia and heart disease
have reduced ability to respond to cancer and it’s treatment
Geriatric Oncology involves incorporating principles of geriatric medicine into the treatment and management of older cancer patients. Many clinicians argue that just as a child with a cancer diagnosis would be seen by a paediatrician, older cancer patients should be seen by a geriatrician.
Geriatric Oncology Organisations
The following organisations can provide further information about Geriatric Oncology:
The International Society of Geriatric Oncology
The EORTC Cancer in the Elderly Task Force
Geriatric Oncology Textbooks
The following textbooks provide an introduction to geriatric oncology:
Cancer and Ageing: Research and Practice (Wiley-Blackwell) by Keith M Belizza and Margot Gosney (28 August 2012)
ESMO Handbook of Cancer in the Senior Patient (European Society for Medical Oncology Handbooks) by Dirk Schrijvers, Matti Aapro, Branko Zakotnik and Riccardo Audisio (20 May 2010)
Management of Breast Cancer in Older Women by Malcolm W. Reed and Riccardo A. Audisio (5 Apr 2011)
Practical Geriatric Oncology (Cambridge Medicine) by Arti Hurria MD and Harvey Jay Cohen MD (13 Sep 2010)
Geriatric Oncology: Treatment, Assessment and Management by Arti Hurria and Lodovico Balducci (7 Aug 2009)