Cancer services come of age

September 2016

Cancer

Country of origin: UK

The cancer services coming of age report summarises a series of pilots that tested whether appropriate assessment of older cancer patients would result in improved access to appropriate cancer treatment, based on need and not age.

The pilots have demonstrated that using the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment and involving elderly care specialists make a significant difference to older patients in making decisions about treatment rather than having those decisions made for them, based on assumptions on their willingness to undergo treatment and their tolerance to it.

The report emphasises the importance of abiding by the Equality Act 2010, now extended to public services in 2012, to make sure that there is no direct or indirect discrimination in the delivery of health services to older people with cancer. It makes six recommendations to services, which may assist better provision for all cancer patients if holistic, tailored assessment, treatment and advice is delivered.

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