Frailty and geriatric assessment in urologic oncology

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Purpose of review

As the population ages, urologic oncologists are caring for older and more vulnerable patients that must withstand complex surgical treatments. Our healthcare environment emphasizes surgical quality, reductions in length of hospital stay, reduced readmission rates, and high patient satisfaction. So those who manage urologic malignancies must be able to optimize their patients. Understanding the concept of frailty, how to diagnose it in a timely and reliable manner, appreciate its perioperative impact, and consider interventions to reduce its effects may improve surgical outcomes.

Recent findings

There has been a recent swell of early research regarding frailty in urologic oncology and its related perioperative effects. Increasing degrees of frailty are associated with greater morbidity and mortality, and more adverse discharge disposition after surgical procedures. Clinicians are, thus, recognizing the value of geriatric assessment in their practice and exploring ways to integrate it using a team-based approach. Universal geriatric recommendations are now available in specific urologic populations to guide these efforts. Importantly, formal geriatric assessment outperforms physician discretion or the ‘eyeball’ test.


The current review offers a comprehensive study of the impact of frailty in urologic oncology, methods for its assessment, and active interventions to reduce it.

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