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Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in the Older Adult with Cancer: A Review

Catalina Hernandez Torres, Tina Hsu
European Urology Focus 2017, 3 (4-5): 330-339

CONTEXT: The number of older adults with cancer is expected to increase rapidly in the upcoming decades. Aging is heterogeneous and chronological age is often not reflective of biological age. A comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is an in-depth assessment of multiple domains of health that results in better assessment of a patient's overall health and fitness and allows directed intervention to improve patient outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: To review the value of CGA for older adults with cancer, CGA composition and tools that can be utilized, and the feasibility of including CGA in oncologic practice.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: The currently available evidence on CGA for older adults with cancer was reviewed.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: A CGA can highlight unidentified health problems and identify patients at higher risk of mortality, functional decline, surgical complications, chemotherapy intolerance, and chemotherapy toxicity. It has been shown that CGA is feasible in the oncology clinic, but geriatric screening tools may be useful to specifically identify patients who would benefit from a full CGA.

CONCLUSIONS: CGA is feasible and can identify patients at higher risk of adverse events such as mortality, functional decline, surgical complications, and chemotherapy toxicity. Clinicians should consider incorporating CGA when assessing and caring for older adults with cancer.

PATIENT SUMMARY: In this report, we review the benefits of a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), a detailed in-depth assessment that identifies health problems not typically identified during routine assessments, for older adults with cancer. We describe the different domains of the CGA and suggest tools to utilize, as well as ways to incorporate CGA into the cancer care setting.


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