We specialize in the evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of cancers. The program seeks to:
- Design personalized medical and therapeutic treatment plans for each senior
- Recognize "unsuspected" diagnoses
- Maximize social support
- Prevent dangerous drug interactions
- Optimize the nutrition of the older person with cancer
- Meet the rehabilitative needs of the patient
- Address socioeconomic issues and family/caregiver concerns that can affect the patient's health care
The Senior Adult Oncology Program provides an innovative approach to the care of adults age 70 and older, believing that older persons do benefit from cancer treatment. However, this treatment needs to take into account other conditions that may affect older people, including accompanying diseases, limitations on activity, transportation problems, volume of medications, nutritional problems and memory disorders or depression.
Moffitt's Senior Adult Oncology Program addresses the high prevalence of cancer in older persons. Half of all cancers occur in people age 70 and older, and 60 percent of all cancer deaths occur in this specific population. Among American men over age 50, prostate cancer is the most common malignancy, and its incidence rate rises with each decade. Among American women, breast cancer incidence also increases with age.
Members of the Senior Adult Oncology Program assess these and other cancerous conditions so that they can tailor cancer treatments to each individual. We conduct each patient's assessment and treatment within a multi-specialty team that includes oncology nurses, a dietitian, a pharmacist, a social worker, a geriatric oncology nurse practitioner and geriatric oncologists.
In addition to the cancer diagnosis, our team is committed to the detection and treatment of other illnesses. A holistic approach is used to assess functional limitations and nutritional and psychosocial status. Use of prescription and nonprescription medications is reviewed, and possible harmful interactions and side effects are identified. This includes counseling on the use of alternative medications such as herbs and vitamins. Our aim is to provide complete clinical care. We provide education for the patient, family and community as well as conduct research that contributes to the prevention and cure of cancer.