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Conclusion and Further Reading - Chapter 04

Chapter 04 – Frailty in the Elderly


There is little doubt frailty exists and its diagnosis is fraught with problems in cancer patients. Oncologists and geriatricians use different definitions of frailty, may measure functional status with different assessment tools, and also may see very different patients. Frailty may be reversible in some patients, and the oncologist needs to work toward identifying the presence of factors such as nutritional deficiency, poor mobility, incontinence, and delirium: both before and during therapy. Patients suitable for therapy require comprehensive assessment with validated tools, and the word “frail” should not exclude individuals from potentially life-saving therapy. Frailty is a continuum rather than a yes or no. Cancer may render a patient frail but treatment may reduce frailty if treatment is targeted.  Best practice guidelines are now available and updates should frequently be sought by oncologists and surgeons.

Further reading

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