Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Cancer-related cognitive impairment in older adults

Edelstein, Andrew; Pergolizzi, Denise; Alici, Yesne

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: March 2017 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 60–69
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000254
CANCER-RELATED COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT: Special considerations: CRCI among older adults and children: Edited by Janet Ellis and Elie Isenberg-Grzeda

Purpose of review 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.

Recent findings 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.

Summary 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:

Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.