Clinical Assessment: Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment
As people age, the differences in health status between individuals become larger. For this reason, there is no universally accepted cutoff for defining an “older” adult. Chronological age itself is less important than biological events in driving the aging process within an individual. However, the use of chronological age is a practical way of defining a target population. In geriatric oncology, 70 years is the most commonly used cutoff for defining patients as older adults. The majority of age-related changes lead to reduced function, but the heterogeneity of the aging process has practical consequences for the assessment of older patients with breast cancer: patients need individualized assessments to determine their biological or functional age. Biological age is believed to reflect a person’s remaining life expectancy and functional reserves, and will influence treatment decisions and predict treatment tolerance. There is no simple way to assess biological age, and one the best clinical tools available to date is a comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA).
KeywordsFrailty Comprehensive geriatric assessment Functional status Cognitive impairment Preoperative assessment
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