Elderly, Aging, and Cancer Diagnosis
— Second, cancer may be the underlying cause, but not the observable symptom. For example, a senior may fall and break an arm. Only after examining the bone break does the medical team discover weakness in the skeletal structure due to bone cancer.
— Lastly, our elderly population may have additional medical or aging conditions simultaneously. My father had diabetes, Parkinson’s, and underwent heart by-pass surgery in his early 70’s. My mother had congestive heart failure, short term memory loss, and experienced a partial stroke in her later years.
In many cases, older people with cancer may have heart disease, diabetes, dementia or Parkinson’s. A diagnosis of cancer may impact any/all of these health problems. Aging brings about changes in the metabolism of any/all seniors. The engine parts of the body may be slowing down and are increasingly inefficient due to any number of reasons…aging…diet…genetics…disease, etc.
Deciphering disease, cause, and treatment programs can have multiple layers of complexity.
Comprehensive Health Assessment is Needed
Elders can fight back against cancer. The many cancer survivors who lead an active lifestyle at an advanced age are living testaments to the need not to write off geriatric cancer patients, but rather to make sure they receive comprehensive assessments in developing the right care plan once they’ve been diagnosed.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164
Email: [email protected]