Geriatric Assessments and Medication Therapy Management Approaches in Elderly Oncology Patients
More than half of cancer diagnoses are in patients older than 65 years of age. The prevalence of cancer is increasing in geriatric patients as life expectancy increases. Geriatric oncology patients are a challenging population to care for, as they experience important age-related physiologic changes that must be considered when making therapeutic decisions and recommendations. Unfortunately, geriatric patients are often excluded from clinical trials, and there are limited data included in the geriatric usage section of most medication package inserts. Practitioners should use the available resources and guidelines to help balance treatment efficacy with toxicity and quality of life. Polypharmacy is another concern in this patient population, and all medications should be screened for appropriateness utilizing the Beers or Screening Tool of Older Person's Prescriptions criteria. Elderly patients may experience some treatment toxicities at the same rate as their younger counterparts, but toxicities may be more severe or prolonged. It is important to optimize supportive care. The area of geriatric oncology provides many opportunities for pharmacists to assist with patient assessments and therapy recommendations.
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Document Type: Editorial
Publication date: August 1, 2017
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- The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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