Nearly 20% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 75. With an increasing older population, comes a growing number of breast cancer patients. Older breast cancer patients commonly pose "distinct clinical challenges, such as frailty, co-morbidities, and limited functional independence" and "age bias may even limit patient access to approved therapies." This ageism, coupled with an underrepresentation of older adults in clinical trials, can affect breast cancer treatment outcomes.
In a new six-part MedscapeTV series — "Better with Age: Improving Breast Cancer Care in Older Adults" — a multidisciplinary DCI team and a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center team "share insights on current standards of care for older breast cancer patients and emphasize the importance of shared decision-making. They discuss comprehensive geriatric assessment as a critical yet underutilized tool, and discuss factors that affect the quality of life of older breast cancer patients."
DCI breast oncologist Gretchen Kimmick, MD, DCI psychologist Rebecca Shelby, PhD, and Duke Health physical therapist Lisa Massa, CLT, PT, WCS, offer some strategies for optimal treatment of these cancer patients.
The series was launched in March and continues through this fall.