Geriatric Oncology Clinic

 

Holistic Cancer Care for the Elderly


A new diagnosis of cancer is difficult no matter at what age, but older patients face a different set of challenges that is often uphill. Older adults and their caregivers not only have special needs and more considerations, they are also faced with additional pre-existing health conditions, increased financial burdens and constraints, and caregiver burn-out. We are committed to providing this group of older cancer patients with the treatment and support they need by journeying alongside them and their families.

 

With physiological ageing and co-morbidities accumulated over time, elderly cancer patients often face greater challenges than a younger patient suffering from the same condition. This is often compounded by psychosocial issues faced by the elderly after retirement with increasing functional loss and dependence on others.

 

Geriatric oncology is a sub-specialty committed to the provision of appropriate cancer treatment to elderly patients. It comprises a specialised multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists and social workers who will guide the elderly cancer patients and their caregivers through the journey.

 

A comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) is required for every elderly cancer patient referred to the geriatric oncology service.  This assessment pays careful attention to the individual’s physical and mental function, social situation, other medical problems and nutritional status.

 

Each member of the team will then work hand in hand to aid every patient, from the explanation of the cancer diagnosis to tailoring the treatment to best benefit each individual patient to the provision of supportive care and rehabilitation services, and very importantly navigating the healthcare system.

 

In view of the increasing number of elderly cancer patients in Singapore, the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) will be piloting a Geriatric Oncology Clinic that will cater to the care of elderly cancer patients in order to optimise their care and reduce caregiver distress. 

 

All cancer patients aged 65 and above receiving treatment in the NCIS can be referred by their treating doctor to the Geriatric Oncology Clinic.


What We Have to Offer


  • Assessment of older oncology patient's fitness for cancer treatment e.g. surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy with recommendations for pre-rehabilitation or interventions as necessary
  • For older oncology patients on cancer treatment - to co-manage other co-morbidities, geriatric syndroms and functional limitations
  • Provide supportive services for older oncology patients and their caregivers
  • Provide a bridge between active cancer treatment and palliative management

How Patients Can Benefit


  • Personalised treatment tailored to suit older cancer patients according to their fitness level and functional status
  • One-stop centre for management of issues unique to older patients including cognitive impairment, functional disabilities and other co-morbidities
  • Support for caregivers of older cancer patients
  • Multi-disciplinary support for older cancer patients including doctors, nurses, psycho-oncologists, pharmacists, medical social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dietitians


Our Geriatric Oncology Team

 

Dr Angela Pang

Geriatric Medical Oncologist

 

Click here to view her profile.

Dr Yong Woon Chai

Geriatrician & Palliative Physician

 

Click here to view her profile.

Dr Francis Ho

Radiation Oncologist

 

Click here to view his profile.

 

Ongoing Pilot Projects

 

Evaluating the role of a geriatric oncology service: How it can impact the quality of life in the older adult with cancer and aid in the reduction of caregviver distress


 

Predicting for chemotherapy-related toxicities in older Asian adults


 

Additional Resources