Roughly 60% of Brazilian cancer patients are over 60 years old, and more than two thirds of registered deaths are elderly patients. According to geriatric oncologist André Felipe Junqueira dos Santos, staffer at the Ribeirão Preto Oncology Institute (InORP), an Oncoclinicas Group clinic, senescence can’t be properly quantified by current complementary exams. “Chronological age may not fully reflect an individual’s functional reserve and life expectancy, therefore we need to clinically evaluate the elderly patient in a global, individualized way”.
The International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) recommends performing geriatric assessment (GA) to help identify the best oncology treatment for elderly patients, especially as diagnosis is first performed.
However, GA wasn’t incorporated into clinical oncology practices, due to being a complex, peculiar process. Therefore, the usage of triage tools for diagnosis has been proposed. “There are several available instruments, some already sanctioned in Brazil, and there’s always several more arising. These instruments should be applied according to the needs of each service, to direct patients that would benefit from a more comprehensive geriatric evaluation to characterize their health condition”, explains geriatric doctor Daniel Rolo, assistant doctor at the Sustained Care Group at Paraibano Oncology Center, an Oncoclinicas Group clinic.
To read the full article with all research details, access our website.