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Covering cancer care in older adults: It’s complicated

As we age, our risk of cancer increases. In fact, age is the single biggest risk factor in developing cancer.

Some cancer treatments may be too harsh for aging bodies, especially those older cancer patients who may already suffer from complex medical needs by the time cancer settles in. Cognitive issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and problems with vision and hearing are all issues that can make the decision to treat more difficult and can worsen with cancer treatment.

On the flip side, because of improvements in cancer treatment and follow-up care, a greater number of older adults are surviving cancer. Yet, there isn’t much research on how to care for older cancer survivors, who may also suffer from comorbid conditions.

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