October 1st 2005
Even now, cancer is a disease ofaging; the average age of a newlydiagnosed cancer patient inthe United States is greater than 65years. Safe and effective medical carefor the elderly will become an increasinglyimportant issue as our populationages over the next severaldecades. By 2025, 20% of the USpopulation will be over the age of 65.It will be essential for physicians tobe well versed in assessing and treatingpatients in this age group in a mannerappropriate to their unique medicalneeds. As the population ages, and bettertreatment for other diseases contributesto longer life expectancy, theassessment and treatment of cancer inthe elderly will be an increasingly commonproblem for oncologists.