Diane G. Cope, PhD, APRN, BC, AOCNP Co-Authors Two Journal Articles on Older Adults with Cancer

Fort Myers, FL  - December 31, 2018... FCS Director of Nursing, Diane G. Cope, PhD, APRN, BC, AOCNP, is first author and second author, respectively, of two articles for a special supplement of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON) that focuses on treating older adults who have cancer.  In both articles, Cope and her co-authors reviewed existing literature to identify evidence-based assessment and treatment options. They also observed that a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) was a key component in evaluating patients and treatment planning. 

Headshot Press Release Profile - Diane Cope_112818Diane G. Cope, PhD, APRN, BC, AOCNP, was the lead author of “Older Adults with Lung Cancer,” which discusses the need for less invasive treatment options with fewer side effects for older adults who are battling lung cancer. As stated in the article, “The assessment of physiologic or functional age is essential to personalize the treatment of cancer in older adults.”  The authors explore several types treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy, using a case study of a 77-year-old man.

The second article focuses on the topic of frailty. According to this article, “Frailty is defined as a disability in those of advanced age, often with comorbidities, poor nutritional status, cognitive decline, and reduced functional status.” Since “about half of all older adults with cancer experience some degree of frailty,” clinicians need to better understand the implications for treatment associated with this condition, so that physical, functional and cognitive health of patients with cancer can be maintained or, in some cases, enhanced.

This is especially important when one considers the significant demographic shift in the U.S. population brought on by the aging Baby Boomer Generation; the total number of adults older than 65 is expected to reach 73.1 million by 2030, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Further, when it comes to cancer treatment, “frailty is a key factor in determining the provision of healthcare services for older adults.”

As in the previous article, Diane Cope and her co-authors reviewed existing literature to identify evidence-based assessment and treatment options. The use of a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) was particularly helpful in evaluating frailty and the extent of a patient’s limitations.  The authors also found a number of frailty-specific tools have been developed and “evidence-based strategies are available to address limitations associated with frailty in older adult patients with cancer.”

Both articles are available, with a subscription, as a supplement to the December 2018 edition, Vol. 22 No. 6.; Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.

A preview of the article on Lung Cancer in Older Adults can be found at: https://cjon.ons.org/cjon/22/6/supplement/older-adults-lung-cancer-assessment-treatment-options-survivorship-issues-and

A preview of the article on Frailty can be found at: https://cjon.ons.org/cjon/22/6/supplement/frailty-older-adults-assessment-support-and-treatment-implications-patients

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