A look at the problem of falls among people with cancer

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2002 Jul-Aug;6(4):193-7. doi: 10.1188/02.CJON.193-197.


People with cancer often have multiple risk factors for falls. A major risk factor is aging; because people often are diagnosed with cancer at an older age or are living longer with cancer, many are at risk for falls. Additional risk factors include impaired physical function, sensory-neurologic deficits, use of multiple medications, and deconditioning, often caused by treatment-induced fatigue. Of all types of accidents, falls pose the most serious threat to the elderly. Fall injuries can have serious consequences related to reduced physical functioning and quality of life. A detailed understanding and awareness of the risk factors (both intrinsic and extrinsic) and problems associated with falls can assist oncology nurses to be vigilant in the identification of patients at high risk for falls. These patients may benefit from protocols used in other patient populations, new interventions, or the use of assistive devices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Gait
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Oncology Nursing / methods
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety Management / methods