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Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2011 Jul;15(3):233-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2011.03.008. Epub 2011 May 6.

Elderly cancer survivorship: an integrative review and conceptual framework.

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University of Utah College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, USA.


The intersection of ageing and cancer in the phase of post-treatment survivorship represents a large and growing population with unique needs.


The goal of this work is to review and integrate the current gerontology and oncology literature relevant to elderly cancer survivorship, to identify knowledge gaps and research opportunities and to propose a conceptual model to guide future research. The long-term, global goal is the prevention of morbidity and mortality in elderly cancer survivors by identification of vulnerable elders, maintenance of independence, tailoring of treatment, establishing intervention guidelines and planning for necessary resources within the entire trajectory of cancer survival for older survivors.


Targeted and integrative review of selected literature from multiple disciplines. Search engines included PubMed, article reference lists and internet searches for epidemiological data (US Census, World Health Organization, American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Cancer Society, etc).


A conceptual model that incorporates the gerontologic, oncologic and personal characteristics of older cancer survivors is proposed that may provide a comprehensive approach by which to frame elderly survivorship research.


Cancer survivorship among the elderly is quantitatively and qualitatively different from cancer survivorship among other age groups. The current large numbers and predicted increase in elderly cancer survivors in the near future mandate attention to this population. Future research must consider the complexity of intersecting needs in the gero-oncology population.

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