Whether elderly patients receive adjuvant therapy depends on their health status and how well the physician communicates the risks and benefits.
Th e cancer survivor population in the U.S. is nearing 14 million and is growing at a rate of about 10% each year. Unfortunately, cancer patients who have completed treatment do not always have access to comprehensive, follow-up care.
It is well known that exposure to chemotherapy or radiation therapy can result in long-term complications for childhood cancer survivors. What is less certain is why some children have to contend with these complications while others do not. Researchers at the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, Calif., are one step closer to fitting another piece in the survivorship puzzle: They hypothesized that there is some inherent genetic susceptibility that raises this risk.
Although increasing age is the major risk factor for breast cancer incidence and mortality, when adjusted for disease stage, breast cancer mortality is similar among younger vs older patients. Importantly, about 90% of older women with breast cancer present with early-stage disease. The biologic characteristics of breast tumors in older patients suggest they would derive benefit from adjuvant therapy, particularly endocrine therapy, but older women are still frequently undertreated, resulting in poorer survival. Studies suggest that focusing on comorbidity rather than “chronologic age” as a surrogate for life-expectancy is a key aspect of adjuvant decision-making for older patients. Morbidity and mortality from cancer in vulnerable patients with poorer health can be accurately predicted by the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA), which evaluates comorbidities, functional status, cognition, social support, psychological state, nutritional status, and polypharmacy. Use of the CGA and newer versions of this tool can lead to interventions that maintain function and improve quality of life in older patients with breast cancer.
It’s not an outcome Dr. Harold Freeman, President and Founder, Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, or anyone else could have imagined, but since cancer patient navigators were introduced in the 1990s, we’re seeing battles and competition over just about every aspect of it.
When she learned that she had breast cancer, Patricia Garrett did what many people with cancer do: she continued working.
The May 2010 theme of Oncology Nursing Month is “Oncology Nurses: There When You Need Us.”
An estimated 219,440 new cases of lung cancer were expected in 2009, accounting for about 15% of cancer diagnoses.
Internationally renowned breast cancer scientist, V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc posed an important question: Where do we go from here in endocrine therapy. In an interview with ONCOLOGY, Dr. Jordan highlighted some of the fundamental clinical issues that he explored during his presentation, “Challenges to Improve Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy.”
Genetic and genomic research is creating new and more individualized approaches to better manage a person's disease or predisposition to disease, including cancer.