The elderly cancer patient: a nursing perspective

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2001 Sep;39(3):235-45. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(00)00116-5.


Since cancer incidence tends to increase with age, health professionals will encounter ever-greater numbers of older people with cancer. Elderly cancer patients present complex problems that need comprehensive physical and psychosocial support. In order to give specialised care to this segment of the population, a multidisciplinary approach must be used; only in this way can an individualised treatment program be provided. Oncology nurses are an important component of this team and can contribute significantly to the panorama of needs of this segment of the population, which include the prevention and early detection of cancer, the use of state-of-the-art treatments, patient education, care during and after hospitalisation and quality of life (QOL) issues. In this way, the older person with cancer can be treated in an optimal manner and survival can hopefully be improved in a meaningful way.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatric Nursing
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Oncology Nursing