Oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology
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For Older Adults


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Watch the Cancer.Net Video: Cancer in Older Adults, with Richard Goldberg, MD, adapted from this content.

The single greatest risk factor for developing cancer is aging. In fact, more than 60% of cancers in the United States occur in people age 65 and older. Because older adults with cancer and their families often have different needs than younger adults and children, people in this age group should consider these needs when making decisions about their care and treatment.

However, when it comes to older adults with cancer, age is truly just a number. Each older adult will have a different level of health and independence and a different expectation of treatment. As a result, a person’s age should not be the only factor considered when determining treatment options for cancer. This booklet can help older adults and their loved ones communicate with health care providers and each other so that the best possible course of care can be followed.

Download a printable PDF version (36-page booklet). To order multiple copies (plus shipping and handling), call 888-273-3508 or order materials online.

Aging and Cancer

This section provides an overview of cancer in older adults, including the role of aging in cancer and the unique challenges faced by older people with cancer.

Care Management

Find practical tips on how older adults can manage their cancer care and cope with financial concerns.

Health Assessment

Find out how doctors check an older adult’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being before and during cancer treatment.

Cancer Treatment

Learn about various cancer treatment options, as well as important factors that may influence treatment decisions.

Clinical Trials

Learn about clinical trials for older people with cancer.

Co-Existing Conditions

Learn about common conditions in older adults that may affect cancer treatment and recovery.

Caregiving Considerations

Discover what caregiving options are available and how to find support if you are caring for an older adult with cancer.


Find additional resources for older adults with cancer and their caregivers.

© 2005-2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). All rights reserved worldwide.

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