Psychological issues in geriatric oncology
Health Services for the Aged
Mental Health Services
Optimism about improved survival from cancer has increased. However, even with tremendous improvements in screening techniques and treatment, a cancer diagnosis may shatter the dream of a dignified old age for elderly patients. Cancer diagnosis and treatment often produce psychological stresses resulting from the actual symptoms of the disease, as well as the patient and family's perceptions of the disease and its stigma. Concerns related to cancer have particular meaning for aging individuals who undergo these situations in the context of retirement, widowhood, other medical disabilities, and other losses. Today, patients and families are more interested in treatment issues and quality of life, both during and after treatment. In this article we discuss late life depression, anxiety, and delirium and treatments related to elderly patients coping with cancer.