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Psychosocial Issues for the Elderly With Cancer: The Role of Social Work

Massie, Dorothy K. LCSW

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Older adults diagnosed with cancer face a multitude of psychosocial issues. In addition to coping with common grief and loss responses related to their mortality, finances, role changes within their families, and changes in their cognitive and physical abilities, older cancer patients are often faced with common challenges brought about by advanced aging such as chronic comorbid conditions. At the forefront of addressing the psychosocial impact of cancer among elderly patients are clinical social workers who provide a broad range of services, particularly in the areas of counseling, support, resources, education, and advocacy.

From the Melanoma and Skin Center, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex.

Corresponding author: Dorothy K. Massie, LCSW, Melanoma and Skin Center, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail: dmassie@mdanderson.org).

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.