Treating elderly colorectal cancer patients can be challenging.
It is very important to carefully weigh the risks and benefits of potential treatments in individual patients.
This treatment decision making can be guided by geriatric consultation.
Dr Verweij and colleagues assessed the effect of a geriatric evaluation on treatment decisions for older patients with colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer patients who were referred for a geriatric consultation between 2013 and 2015 in three Dutch teaching hospitals were included in a prospective database.
The team's outcome of geriatric assessment, non-oncological interventions and geriatricians’ treatment recommendations were evaluated.
|The reason for geriatric consultation was uncertainty regarding the optimal oncologic treatment in 83% of patients|
|International Journal of Colorectal Disease|
The researchers reported that the total number of included referrals was 168.
The team noted that the median age was 81 years.
The research team observed that 71% of patients had colon cancer, and 49% had tumour stage III disease.
The reason for geriatric consultation was uncertainty regarding the optimal oncologic treatment in 83% of patients.
Overall 93% of patients suffered from geriatric impairments, non-oncological interventions that followed after geriatric consultation was mostly aimed at malnutrition.
The geriatrician recommended the ‘more intensive treatment’ option in 69% and the ‘less intensive treatment’ option in 31% of which 63% ‘supportive care only’.
Dr Verweij's team concludes, "Geriatric consultation can be useful in treatment decision making in elderly patients with colorectal cancer."
"It may lead to changes in the treatment plan for individual cases and may result in an additional optimisation of patient’s health status prior to treatment."