Rehabilitation in older cancer patients


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Abstract

Cancer treatment has meant an increasingly prolonged survival of older cancer patients, often associated with a functional decline. Rehabilitation focuses on facilitating recovery of the ability to perform activities of daily living and on enhancing a patient's quality of life. The rehabilitative program should be tailored to single-out elderly patients after an attentive evaluation of their needs and the assessment of clinical, psychological and social conditions through a comprehensive geriatric assessment. The evaluation of fatigue, pain, malnutrition, depression and cognitive impairment is essential in order to establish supportive therapies and improve compliance and outcomes. Rehabilitation care is performed with a multidisciplinary approach. Management consists of physical exercises and occupational therapy associated with specific organ rehabilitation, and is also related to the sequelae of treatments such as surgery, hormonotherapy and radiotherapy.

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