Geriatric Assessment and Cancer Care: Expert Insights

May 21, 2018
Greg Guthrie, ASCO staff

On May 21, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released guidelines about the care of older adults with cancer. About 70% of people with cancer are 65 or older, and older adults with cancer have different needs and concerns than adults, young adults, and children with cancer.share on twitter One of the key recommendations from ASCO is to use geriatric assessments when chemotherapy is part of the treatment plan to understand the unique needs of each person with cancer and to ensure that they get the care they need.

In this podcast, Arti Hurria, MD, and William Dale, MD, PhD, discuss geriatric assessment, the new ASCO guidelines, and what patients and caregivers should know about this important tool in cancer care for older adults. Drs. Hurria and Dale were the co-chairs of the expert panel that produced these recommendations.

  • What is a geriatric assessment? [2:45]

  • What does a geriatric assessment tell doctors about their patient’s needs? [4:31]

  • How can geriatric assessment be used to help predict chemotherapy side effects? [5:25]

  • How is geriatric assessment used to evaluate prognosis, which is the chance of recovery? [6:43]

  • What happens when a geriatric assessment finds an issue that needs to be addressed? [8:50]

  • What can a patient expect to happen during a geriatric assessment? [10:20]

  • How are geriatric assessments integrated into a patient’s regular cancer care? How much time does this take? [12:35]

  • How can patients help make sure they receive a geriatric assessment? [14:43]

Dr. Hurria is the Director of the Center for Cancer and Aging and Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research at City of Hope. Dr. Dale is the Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Supportive Care Medicine and Clinical Professor in the Department of Supportive Care Medicine at City of Hope.

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