Evidence suggests that a cancer history increases falls risk in older adults, a group already at higher risk based on advanced age alone. In geriatrics, falls are considered a multifactorial syndrome, generally associated with acquired impairments in postural control systems. Cancer treatments can initiate or worsen such impairments, so the cancer history should be a focus of the rehabilitative approach to older survivors. The purpose of this perspective article is to suggest a model for conducting a balance assessment that integrates evidence from the general geriatric literature with considerations unique to cancer survivorship, individualizing the approach to the survivor's diagnosis and treatment response.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Correspondence: Elizabeth S. Hile, PhD, PT, NCS, CLT, Cancer Rehabilitation Science Program, OUHSC Stephenson Cancer Center, 800 NE 10th St, Room 5032, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (Elizabeth-Hile@ouhsc.edu).
Dr Hile is funded by Susan G. Komen Central and Western Oklahoma (grant CGA-2015-OK100-UNHE9-00005, PD: Hile). Previous work contributing to this manuscript was funded by the Claude D Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (NIA P30 AG024827, PI: S. Studenski) and Susan G Komen Pittsburgh (grant 0027525, PD: Hile).
The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.