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Booklet Provides Assistance for Older Patients Living with Cancer (dateline June 25, 2007)

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has published a booklet entitled, "Cancer in Older Adults," which provides information on more than 120 types of cancer and cancer-related syndromes, clinical trials information, coping resources, information on managing side effects, medical illustrations, cancer information in Spanish, and more. According to ASCO, more than 60% of cancers in the United States occur in adults over the age of 65. The booklet is designed to help patients and their loved ones deal with all aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

Older patients with cancer can have different needs than younger patients. According to ASCO, older people are often at higher risk for developing chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, arthritis, or high blood pressure. In addition, there are other factors that may affect older patients, such as transportation issues, support systems, and finances.

The booklet is adapted from the ASCO Curriculum, Cancer Care in the Older Population, an educational resource developed by ASCO for doctors and other health-care professionals who treat people with cancer. The booklet contains the following topics, among others:

  • Cancer in the Older Person
  • Cancer in Daily Life
  • Cancer Treatment
  • Co-existing Conditions
  • Health Assessments
  • Clinical Trials

According the National Cancer Institute, the number of new cancer cases is about 10 times greater in people 65 years and older. The most common cancers among this age group are prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, bladder, stomach, lung, and rectum.

In addition, aging populations often experience chronic health problems including heart problems, decreased kidney function, memory loss, vision loss, hearing difficulties, poor nutrition, or loss of appetite due to medications or other conditions.

ASCO is a leading professional organization representing more than 2300 physicians who specialize in treating cancer.

To learn more about the ASCO booklet for Cancer in Older Patients, please visit