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

Ethun CG, Bilen MA, Jani AB, Maithel SK, Ogan K, Master VA. Frailty and cancer: Implications for oncology surgery, medical oncology, and radiation oncology. CA Cancer J Clin. 2017 Sep;67(5):362-377.

Free full-text. 

  • 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 undergoing surgery, chemotherapy,and radiotherapy. However, defining frailty can be challenging.
  • 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.
  • 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 is 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.

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See also: Preoperative communication with older patients and their families about high-risk surgical outcomes

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