Dr. Mohile on Implementing Geriatric Assessment into Cancer Care

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Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS, professor of medicine and surgery, James Wilmot Cancer Institute, director, Geriatric Oncology Clinic, University of Rochester, discusses implementing geriatric assessments into cancer care.

Supriya Gupta Mohile, MD, MS, professor of medicine and surgery, James Wilmot Cancer Institute, director, Geriatric Oncology Clinic, University of Rochester, discusses implementing geriatric assessments into cancer care.

In a study examining improving communication with older patients with cancer, assessing the health-related concerns improved doctor-patient communication and decision-making. Geriatric assessment improves communication for any patient with advanced cancer undergoing treatment, says Mohile. Currently, the guidelines suggest conducting a geriatric assessment for patients beginning chemotherapy, which Mohile adds should be given to any patient over 65 with advanced cancer.

The guidelines were created with community oncologists in order to identify the highest priority tools that were the easiest to implement. Mohile says that the geriatric assessment should only take 10 to 15 minutes, and it can be done in the waiting room, in the office, or at home before the patient visits the oncologist. Anyone can organize the assessment—it does not have to be the oncologist. It is helpful for the oncologist to have this information ahead of time, Mohile says, and once they get used to it, the assessment will save a lot of time and be widely adopted.

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