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New research stresses importance of looking at co-morbidities in elderly cancer patients

Posted by RHHAdmin on May 11, 2012 5:59:36 AM

Despite the fact cancer is one of the most recognized diseases, new research suggests there are still some people battling the illness who go overlooked in terms of treatment.

Research presented at the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology suggests physicians need to be on close watch for co-morbidities - or other conditions that could come with cancer - in elderly patients, as science has not yet adapted to the demographic change.

Dr. Charlotte Rotbøl Bøje, from the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, said that it is critical for doctors treating elderly cancer patients to make the proper assessment of co-morbidities, as it could result in complications.

"Our analysis has shown how important it is to take a multidisciplinary approach to cancer in the elderly, particularly when recruiting them into trials," Dr. Rotbøl Bøje. "They will often have other medical conditions that need to be treated, and the design of trials needs to take this into account. We need trials that focus on both fit and frail elderly patients.

Home health care workers should also be aware of such conditions if they are caring for a patient with cancer. Informing physicians about any condition the patient may have is crucial for elderly care.

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Topics: Hospice, Residential News