The Senior Adult Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center is aimed at preventing and treating cancer in older people, as well as improving their quality of life. A cornerstone of the program is a comprehensive geriatric assessment that helps team members to identify problem areas related to cancer, as well as other issues that are directly related to aging – such as missed diagnoses and day-to-day functional abilities.
The program strives 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
About the Program
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; 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 senior individual. We conduct each patient's assessment and treatment within a multidisciplinary team that includes oncology nurses, a dietitian, a pharmacist, a social worker, a geriatric oncology nurse practitioner and geriatric oncologists.
A holistic approach is used to assess functional limitations and nutritional and psychosocial status. Use of prescription and non-prescription medications is reviewed, and possible harmful interactions and side effects are identified. This includes counseling on the use of alternative medications, such as herbs, vitamins, etc.
Our aim is to provide complete clinical care; to provide education for the patient, family and community; and to conduct research that contributes to the prevention and care of cancer. The Senior Adult Oncology Program is not designed to provide primary care needs. All patients are expected to have a primary care physician. We will coordinate care with all your providers accordingly.