Older Adults with Cancer
Risk for cancer increases with age. Nearly 60% of new cancers are diagnosed in individuals over the age of 65. For older adults, a cancer diagnosis may be just one of several stressors. Older adults with cancer are more likely to have additional medical conditions complicating their cancer treatment. They may also have unique caregiving needs or even be a caregiver to another family member. Lastly, reliable transportation to treatment and access to regular nutritional meals can be common barriers to optimal cancer care.
Patients and their support network (i.e., spouse, family, friends, etc.) may benefit from a consult with an oncology social worker about managing the emotional, social, and practical needs that are common for older adults with cancer during treatment. An oncology dietitian may also help address nutritional issues.
The following resources can help older adults with cancer as well as their caregivers.
- Aging and Cancer by Cancer.net
- Cancer and The Elderly by National Cancer Institute
- Caring for the Patient with Cancer at Home by American Cancer Society
- Eldercare Services Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connecting you to services for older adults and their families. 1-800-677-1116
- Living Through Cancer by American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
- Meals on Wheels by ACC
- Sacramento Area Community Resources for Older Adults
- Sacramento County Senior Resource Directory by CancerCare
For more information on resources for cancer patients and families, please visit the Patient and Family Learning Center