Cancer, aging, and cognition form a complicated interface that can challenge patients, caretakers, and healthcare professionals. Although the typical aging process allows for compensatory mechanisms to help maintain daily functioning, cancer and cancer treatments can remove the fail-safes and exacerbate cognitive decline. As a result, older cancer patients can experience increased morbidity and mortality. The goal of this article is to provide additional assessment strategies, diagnostic considerations, and treatment options for providers taking care of this growing population.
In this review, we will discuss current areas of research with regard to epidemiology and our current understanding of cancer-related cognitive impairment in the older patient, while reinforcing the importance of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment in assessment, prognosis, and treatment guidance.
Although cognitive impairment in the older cancer patient may be an increasing cause of concern with several gaps in research, there are opportunities to take a methodical treatment approach.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA
Correspondence to Dr Yesne Alici, MD, Counseling Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022, USA. Tel: +1 646 888 0100; fax: +1 212 888 2329; e-mail: email@example.com