Factors affecting the decision to investigate older adults with potential cancer symptoms: a systematic review

This systematic review has examined evidence around the association between older age and diagnostic processes for cancer, and the factors that affect diagnosis. 54 studies were included in the review. Studies identified suggested an association between increasing age and prolonged diagnostic interval or deferral of a decision to investigate cancer symptoms. Three key themes were identified: 1) the presence of frailtity, 2) comorbidity and 3) cognitive impairment. Overall, the review suggests that currently there is still uncertainty in the management of older patients with cancer symptoms. The authors suggest that given the uncertainty around optimum management, shared-decision making with these patients and their families is important.

 

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