We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Geriatric Oncology?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Geriatric oncology is a medical specialty focusing on cancer care in older adults. Age tends to complicate disease, and there may be some special considerations in evaluating and treating older cancer patients. Practitioners in this field have training in both oncology and gerontology, and can be doctors, nurses, or medical technicians. Some work for hospitals and clinics as part of a larger cancer care program while others may offer services through a geriatric oncology practice.

As people age, their chances of getting cancer increase. They are also more likely to have comorbidities, as many diseases become more common with age. Older adults can also experience social isolation, limited mobility, difficulty completing tasks, and similar issues that may make cancer treatment harder. Memory problems can be an issue for geriatric patients, a particular concern with harsh cancer medications, where missing or doubling up on doses could be very dangerous.

In geriatric oncology, care providers evaluate patients, collecting information about their cancers as well as any other health conditions. They use this information to develop a care plan. One consideration is that the treatment could be too much for the patient to bear. It may be more sensible to take a conservative treatment approach to give the patient a better quality of life. Geriatric oncologists may also determine that the cancer is slow growing and will not kill the patient before other diseases do, making it pointless to subject her to invasive and aggressive cancer treatments.

Practitioners in geriatric oncology may need to consider hospitalizing their patients for care if there are concerns about taking medications on time, self-care abilities, or missing appointments because of transportation problems. They can also recommend the use of aides and home health care providers to assist patients who remain at home. The work can include working on a more effective plan for managing the patient's comorbidities while treating the cancer. Geriatric oncology specialists do not want to treat a cancer only to have a patient experience complications from another condition.

Research opportunities are available in geriatric oncology. These include trials for new drugs and treatment protocols as well as studies on the psychological well-being of patients. Researchers may also study common comorbidities to learn how they interact with each other. This can help with the development of treatment recommendations to increase the chances of effective cancer treatment. Patients who want to participate in research can talk to their doctors about options and get more information from clinical trial organizers.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.