Determining the Current Situation of Geriatric Oncology in Turkey: A Survey of Medical Oncologists
Received Date : 25 Dec 2020
Accepted Date : 08 Feb 2021
Available Online : 18 Mar 2021
Doi: 10.37047/jos.2020-80824 - Article's Language: EN
J Oncol Sci. 2021;7(1):25-30
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Objective: We aimed to capture a snapshot of the current situation in Turkey regarding the management of elderly cancer patients through an online survey of medical oncologists in Turkey. Material and Methods: An anonymized cross-sectional nationwide descriptive online survey was sent to the Turkish Society of Medical Oncology members by email in November 2020. Before closing the survey in December 2020, one remainder was sent. Results: The survey was completed by 133 medical oncologists from 41 centers with a 29% response rate. Routine use of geriatric evaluation was practiced by 18.2% of the medical oncologists in their daily practice. A geriatrician was available in the centers of 36.8% of the participants. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was the most commonly employed tool for investigating older cancer patients. Our survey determined that the presence of malnutrition, treatment adherence, comorbidities, and social support were the most commonly identified challenges while caring for geriatric cancer patients. Hearing problem was the most common reason, followed by dementia, regarding the communication with the elderly cancer patients. Conclusion: Our survey results revealed a very low rate of geriatric evaluation for systemic treatment planning in elderly patients. Moreover, medical oncologists encountered a high rate of communication problems and additional challenges in the care of geriatric cancer patients. These findings signify the need for geriatrics and oncology collaboration for the optimization of geriatric cancer care.