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Multimorbidity in older adults living with and beyond cancer

Corbett, Teresa; Bridges, Jackie

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: September 2019 - Volume 13 - Issue 3 - p 220–224
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000439
LIVING WITH CANCER AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF TREATMENT: Edited by Lynn Calman and Natasha Campling
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Purpose of review The current review draws attention to the need for longer term management of multiple conditions in older adults with cancer.

Recent findings Older people living with and beyond cancer are more likely than younger people to have higher prevalence of multimorbidity leading to an overall increase in illness and treatment burdens, limiting health-related quality of life (QoL), and capacity to self-manage. Older age presents a higher risk of cancer treatment side-effects and development or progression of other conditions, leading to worsening health, long-lasting functional problems, and social isolation. Although many prioritize functional independence and continuance of valued activities over survival, older people living with multimorbidity are more likely to experience poor physical functioning during and beyond cancer treatment.

Summary Cancer treatment decisions and survivorship plans should be developed in the context of other conditions and in line with the individual's priorities for continued QoL. More research is needed to guide service development and clinical practice in this important area.

NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research (CLAHRC) Wessex, Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton, UK

Correspondence to Dr Teresa Corbett, School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Building 67 Room 3031, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK. Tel: +44 238 059 8292; e-mail: t.k.corbett@soton.ac.uk

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