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CA Cancer J Clin. 2017 Sep;67(5):362-377. doi: 10.3322/caac.21406. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Frailty and cancer: Implications for oncology surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology.

Author information

1
General Surgery Resident, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
2
Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
3
Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
4
Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
5
Professor of Urology, Department of Urology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
6
Professor, Department of Urology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
7
Director of Clinical Research, Department of Urology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Abstract

Answer questions and earn CME/CNE The concept of frailty has become increasingly recognized as one of the most important issues in health care and health outcomes and is of particular importance in patients with cancer who are receiving treatment with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Because both cancer itself, as well as the therapies offered, can be significant additional stressors that challenge a patient's physiologic reserve, the incidence of frailty in older patients with cancer is especially high-it is estimated that over one-half of older patients with cancer have frailty or prefrailty. Defining frailty can be challenging, however. Put simply, frailty is a state of extreme vulnerability to stressors that leads to adverse health outcomes. In reality, frailty is a complex, multidimensional, and cyclical state of diminished physiologic reserve that results in decreased resiliency and adaptive capacity and increased vulnerability to stressors. In addition, over 70 different measures of frailty have been proposed. Still, it has been demonstrated that frail patients are at increased risk of postoperative complications, chemotherapy intolerance, disease progression, and death. Although international standardization of frailty cutoff points are needed, continued efforts by oncology physicians and surgeons to identify frailty and promote multidisciplinary decision making will help to develop more individualized management strategies and optimize care for patients with cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 2017;67:362-377.

KEYWORDS:

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment; Frailty Index; complications; phenotypic frailty; survival

PMID:
28731537
DOI:
10.3322/caac.21406
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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