Cancer in the Elderly Flashcards Preview

Medicine II: Geriatrics > Cancer in the Elderly > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cancer in the Elderly Deck (88):
1

What percent of cancer patients are geriatric patients?

60% of all cancers occur in those age 65 or older.

2

What percent of cancer deaths occur in the geriatric population?

70% of all cancer deaths occur in those age 65 or older.

3

What portion of the population are considered geriatric?

Persons older than 65 account for 13% of U.S. population.

4

What are the factors of aging that aid cancer growth in the elderly?

Immunosenescence
DNA repair mechanisms
Telomere shortening , decreased control of cell proliferation
increased resistance to apoptosis
Age-related physiologic changes
decreased tissue integrity

5

What factors of carcinogenesis allow cancer to more readily infect the elderly?

Immune surveillance
Susceptibility to carcinogens
Genetic instability
Oncogene activation
Tumor suppressor gene mutation
decreased clearance of damaged cells
Altered tissue micro-environment
decreased barriers to tumor invasion

6

Why is Cancer More Common in the Elderly?

Cancer takes time!

7

What are the stages of cancer growth?

Initiation
Promotion
Malignant Transformation (Tumor)
Progression

8

What happens during the initiation phase?

Accumulatedgenetic alterations

9

What happens during the promotion phase?

Clonal expansion
Pre-malignant lesion

10

What happens during the Malignant Transformation phase?

The tumor develops

11

What happens during the Progression phase?

Clinical cancer: Tissue invasion Metastases

12

What factors promote tumor growth in the initiation and promotion phases?

Carcinogens
Ionizing radiation
Infection
Spontaneous mutations

13

Why are Cancer Death Rates High in the Elderly?

Medical issues limiting standard treatment options
Age bias within the health care system
Health care access issues

14

What are types of medical issues, related to the elderly, that limit standard tx options?

Age-related changes in physiology
Co-existing chronic medical conditions

15

What are types of age biases, related to the elderly, that limit standard tx options?

Under-treatment (“Cancer therapy too dangerous for older patients.”)
Reduced participation in cancer screening programs (Delayed diagnosis)
Under-representation in clinical trials (Efficacy of treatment)

16

What are types of health care access issues, related to the elderly, that limit standard tx options?

Transportation
Finances

17

T/F: Age-related changes in physiology complicate treatment.

True

18

T/F: Cancer occurs in the setting of multiple chronic conditions in older patients.

True

19

T/F: Medical decision-making styles do not differ between young and old.

False

20

T/F: Preferences for treatment outcomes doesn't change with age.

False

21

T/F: Physical and cognitive function are major concerns in maintaining independence.

True

22

T/F: Competing risks may obviate treatment.

True

23

What are Age-related Physiologic Changes in the renal system?

Age related loss of nephrons
decreased GFR about 1ml/min/year after age 40
Tubular and interstitial and changes

24

What are Age-related Physiologic Changes in the GI system?

decreased acid, digestive enzymes

25

What are Age-related Physiologic Changes in the hepatic system?

decreased Liver volume and blood flow about 1% per year
decreased hepatic metabolism and clearance of drugs

26

What are Age-related Physiologic Changes in the immune system?

decreased bone marrow reserve
Macrophages:↓phagocytic activity, oxidative burst and MHC classII expression
NK cells: decreased cytotoxicity, cytokine /chemokine production, and proliferative response to IL-2
increased serum levels of IL-6,IL-1β, TNF-α

27

Why does GFR ↑ or remain stable in about 1/3 of adults after age 40 years?

idk

28

Does age-related ↓ GFR progress to ESRD?

idk

29

Is age-related decrease in GFR independently associated with morbidity, mortality, or disability?

idk

30

What do the treatment preferences in a geriatric patient depend on?

Burden of treatment
Possible outcomes
Likelihood of outcomes

31

What to geriatric patients more likely to choose when deciding between survival and a treatment that causes physical/cognitive impairment?

Many older patients would choose against survival for outcomes of physical or cognitive impairment

32

T/F: Preferences for outcomes don't change with age but do with the progression of disease

False, Preferences for outcomes change with age and progression of disease

33

T/F: Older persons with multiple morbidities can understand concept of competing outcomes and prioritize outcomes to guide decisions

True

34

What are challenges for effective treatment of cancer in elderly adults?

1. Common comorbidities limit therapeutic options
2. Age-related physiologic changes may impact toxicities
3. Decrease in reserve may delay recovery of functional status
4. Prognostic indices not validated in older patients
5. Optimal treatment for elders often not known (clinical trial exclusions)

35

What are the guidelines for how we should approach effective treatment in older adults?

1. Careful medical evaluation of comorbidities and physiologic status
2. Proactive approach to prevent potential complications
3. Early involvement of cancer rehabilitation team
4. Cautious prognostication
5. Clinical research protocols designed for older patients

36

What are general approaches for cancer treatment?

Primary treatment modalities
Surgery
Chemotherapy
Radiation Therapy
Initial therapy
Surgery or radiation therapy for control of primary tumor
Radiotherapy or chemotherapy
Chemotherapy for systemic (metastatic) disease
Focal radiation therapy for symptomatic lesions
Tolerability
Initial chemotherapy cycle often more difficult than later cycles
Cumulative toxicity with chemotherapy and radiation therapy

37

What does chemotherapy treatment for cancer in the elderly include?

includes hormonal therapy and biological agents

38

What is the best opportunity for cure or control with cancer in the elderly?

Initial therapy

39

What has to be examined before surgery or radiation in attempting to control a primary tumor?

Histological assessment of adjacent/regional lymph nodes

40

When do we use radiotherapy or chemotherapy?

For spread to adjacent/regional lymph nodes

41

What type of therapy do we used for symptomatic lesions?

Focal radiation therapy for symptomatic lesions

42

What is significant about the initial treatment of chemotherapy?

Initial chemotherapy cycle often more difficult than later cycles

43

How do we assess and deduce what the treatment goals will be for a geriatric patient?

Treatment goals – ASK!

44

What are the types of treatment goals?

- Cure
- Long-term disease control & prolongation of life
- Palliative/supportive care
- Hospice/end-of-life care (comfort)

45

What does palliative/supportive care include as a treatment goal for geriatric cancers?

Control symptoms, optimize function

46

T/F: Chronologic age alone (<85) is a reliable guide for planning treatment or predicting outcome.

FALSE, it is not a reliable guide

47

What do we have to consider about aging and treatment options for each individual geriatric patient?

Effects of aging vary among individual patients
Rates of loss of functional reserves vary from organ to organ in any single individual

48

What is a good estimate of quality of life, life expectancy, and ability to tolerate cancer treatment in geriatric patients? How do we find this out?

Physiologic age and functional status – ASSESS!

49

What components can affect the treatment options of a geriatric patient?

Co-morbidity, physiologic function, and functional status

50

What is the most effective therapy for local control of many malignancies?

Surgery

51

What are most elective surgeries associated with in geriatric patients?

relatively low mortality risk

52

What are new less invasive procedures with less morbidity?

Laparoscopic procedures
Robotic technology

53

What are surgical risk factors for the elderly?

Emergency surgery or prolonged surgery
Co-existing disease
Poor nutritional status
Poor functional status

54

What are examples of co-existing diseases that can cause surgical risk factors for the elderly?

atherosclerosis, COPD, and diabetes mellitus

55

Why is poor nutritional status a risk factor for surgery?

decreased wound healing
increased infections

56

Describe radiation treatment and its use in the elderly?

Its a safe and effective curative and palliative therapy for localized cancer in the elderly

57

What is the risk of functional impairment for the elderly in regards to surgery or chemotherapy?

Relatively little functional impairment compared to surgery and chemotherapy

58

What are the major risks associated with radiation therapy?

Mucositis (dehydration, malnourishment, sepsis)
Radiation pneumonitis

59

Is short course RT very safe for elderly patients?

Yes, short course RT is very safe AND convenient (especially for sick patients)

60

What is a common chemotherapy treatment issue with geriatric patients ?

Decreased treatment effectiveness due to dose reductions related to drug toxicities

61

Why are elderly patients on chemotherapy more susceptible to drug toxicity?

- Decreased functional reserves
- Co-existing disease
- Altered metabolism and distribution of drugs

62

What are common drug toxicities in the elderly on chemotherapy?

Neutopenia and sepsis
Thrombocytopenia and bleeding
Anemia leading to fatigue and cardiopulmonary decompensation
V/D causing dehydration, anorexia and malnutrition
Renal impairment
Neurotoxicity
Cardiotoxicity

63

Frailty as a predictor of poor outcomes

Morbidity
Mortality (5-year mortality)
Surgical Outcomes
Chemotherapy

64

What is frailty a predictor of poor outcomes for?

Morbidity
Mortality
Surgery
Chemotherapy

65

How does frailty lead to an increase in morbidity?

Increases falls, ADL disability and hospitalizations

66

How is frailty a good predictor of poor out comes for surgery?

Independent predictor of postoperative complications, LOS, and discharge to skilled nursing or assisted living facilities

Improved predictive power of anesthesia risk indices

67

What effect does frailty have on geriatric patients receiving chemotherapy?

increases the probability of not completing treatment
increases mortality with chemotherapy

68

What is conceptualized as a global phenotype of physiologic reserves and resistance to stressors?

Frailty

69

In surgery, what has frailty been associated with?

In nonsurgical populations, this phenotype has been associated with adverse health outcomes.

70

What is frailty?

physical weakness : the quality or state of being frail

71

What is the "frailty index"?

Age > 85
ADL dependence > 1
Co-morbid conditions > 3
Geriatric syndromes > 1
Unintentional weight loss
Significant muscular weakness and fatigue

72

What is the frailty index fried?

Unintentional weight loss
Slow walking speed
Subjective exhaustion
Low grip strength
Low levels of physical activity

73

When assessing frailty you find them to not be deemed "frail", what does this mean? What is their treatment strategy?

They are independent, mobile, have good nutrition and limited co-morbidity

Life-Prolonging treatment

74

When assessing frailty you find them to be deemed "intermediate", what does this mean? What is their treatment strategy?

They are borderline

Individualize Treatment

75

When assessing frailty you find them to be deemed "frail", what does this mean? What is their treatment strategy?

They have poor ADL functions, poor nutrition and/or significant co-morbidities

Palliative Treatment

76

What is the Supportive Care Program for elderly patients with cancer?

Nutritional support
Medical support
Psychosocial support
Physical/occupational therapy

77

What is involved in nutritional support for elderly patients with cancer?

Dietary counseling, dietary supplements, enteral feeding (G/J tube)

78

What is involved in medical support for elderly patients with cancer?

Anemia
Neutropenia
Thrombocytopenia (Platelet transfusion)
Mucositis (Hydration, “magic mouthwash”, diet modification, anti-diarrheals)
N/V (Serotonin receptor (5-HT3) antagonists (limit use of antiemetics with anticholinergic side effects))

79

Who is given psychosocial support?

Patient AND caregiver

80

What is incorporated into the physical and occupational therapy for elderly patients with cancer?

Assistance in physical and cognitive function

81

What do we give in medical support for anemia?

(Transfusion Epoetin alpha)

82

What do we give in medical support for neutropenia?

(G-CSF, GM-CSF)

83

What do we give in medical support for thrombocytopenia?

Platelet transfusion

84

What do we give in medical support for Mucositis?

(Hydration, “magic mouthwash”, diet modification, anti-diarrheals)

85

What do we give in medical support for N/V?

Serotonin receptor (5-HT3) antagonists (limit use of antiemetics with anticholinergic side effects)

86

What goes into a care plan for a geriatric patient that does not have cancer?

Still incorporate cancer risk assessment as part of geriatric assessment AND cancer prevention (screening) as part of routine care

87

You are an Integral part of a patient care team,
Who else is involved in the care of a geriatric patient with cancer?

Primary care provider
Oncology specialists (surgical, medical, radiation oncologists)
Cancer rehabilitation and supportive care providers
Family and other caregivers

88

What are key things to remember when dealing with a geriatric cancer patient?

Do not abandon your patient with cancer
Consider the entire patient in your management decisions
Focus on preserving physical and cognitive function
Respect your older patient’s values and preferences
Treat pain! Pain is often under-treated in the elderly.