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Navigating the Cancer Screening Decision for Patients with Dementia

Authors
  • Kuwata, Caitlyn1
  • Goldhirsch, Suzanne L.1
  • Rodríguez, Vanessa1
  • 1 Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, One Gustave Levy L. Place, Box 1070, New York, NY, 10029, USA , New York (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Current Oncology Reports
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jun 14, 2021
Volume
23
Issue
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11912-021-01083-1
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Topical Collection on Palliative Medicine
License
Yellow

Abstract

Purpose of ReviewThe risks of developing cancer and dementia both increase with age, giving rise to the complex question of whether continued cancer screening for older dementia patients is appropriate. This paper offers a practice-based clinical approach to determine an answer to this challenging question.Recent FindingsThere is no consensus on the prevalence of cancer and dementia as co-diagnoses. Persons with dementia are screened less often compared to those without dementia. There is significant literature focusing on screening in the geriatric population, but there is little evidence to support decision-making for screening for older patients with dementia.SummaryGiven this lack of evidence, individualized decisions should be made in collaboration with patients and family caregivers. Four considerations to help guide this process include prognosis, behavioral constraints, cognitive capacity, and goals for care. Future research will be challenging due to variability of factors that inform screening decisions and the vulnerable nature of this patient population.

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