Research indicates that as baby boomers age, the risk of cancer increases accordingly.
Cancer is diagnosed at a higher rate, accounting for more survivors, and results in more deaths than in younger patients.
"The increase in the number of older adults, the association of cancer with aging, the workforce shortage, and the financial stressors across the health care system and family networks, all contribute to a crisis in cancer care that is most pronounced in the older population," three members of the Institute of Medication Committee wrote.
"We need to address the physical, psychological, financial and emotional tolls on caregivers by developing more effective ways to prepare and support them," Dr. Naylor addressed.
The authors noted potential improvements to cancer care among older persons, including passing new laws extending the time period for clinical trials in order to include older adults, noting that "although the majority of patients with cancer and cancer survivors are older adults, historically they have been and continue to be underrepresented in all types of cancer trials.
Letting the patients decide what works. The authors recommended "publicly reported, robust measures of patient reported outcomes meaningful for this population
Establishing a national workforce commission "to plan for the challenges of an aging population and the complexity of care required by older adults with cancer, including a workforce that values multidisciplinary teams and geriatrics principles.
The study was published In JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.