Geriatric oncology

Telekes András
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Kórház Onkológiai Osztály

Geriatric oncology has an increasing role since in several types of cancer the median age at diagnosis is above 60 years of age. The treatment of elderly patients are frequently set back by prejudice, stereotypes and lack of information. All these lead to the fact that even in well-developed countries elderly cancer patients often do not receive the necessary treatments. This is even more true in poor-countries, where the fi nancial defi cit accumulated in health care is often attempted to be reduced by the treatment of elderly. If a paediatric oncology patient does not get suffi cient cancer treatment there is a fi erce protest, but everybody is silent if this occurs in the case of an 80 years old patient. For this unacceptable situation both authorities (fi nancing) and professional bodies (treatment, education) are responsible. Clinical data show that elderly cancer patients get the same benefi t of active oncology treatment, as younger ones. Age on its own does not contraindicate any cancer treatment. The aim of this review is to prove by data, that elderly cancer patients should also get active oncology treatment. The questions of assessment include frailty, the relationship of cancer development and ageing, and other problems related to the oncology treatment of elderly patients are also discussed.

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