174955 Aging and Cancer: A Cancer 101 Adaptation to Meet the Needs of Elders

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marie J. Lavigne, LMSW , Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, NCI's Cancer Information Service - Northwest Region, Anchorage, AK
Katherine J. Briant, MPH, CHES , Northwest Region, National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service, Seattle, WA
Introduction: Cancer is a disease of aging. Close to 60% of all new cancers and 70% of cancer deaths are in elders over 65. As the risk of developing cancer increases with age, screening and early detection are vitally important to reduce the cancer burden. Yet in comparison with younger adults, adults 60 years or older are far less likely to be screened for cancer, or to know the age and frequency recommended for screening, according to the Health Information National Trends Survey. There is a need for targeted cancer education, along with action to reduce barriers to screening and access to health care. Methods: Cancer 101 offers an excellent framework to convey health information. Aging and Cancer was developed by the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service in partnership with the Alaska Geriatric Education Center. As an adaptation of Cancer 101 for an elder/ caregiver audience, Aging and Cancer focuses on the recommendations for screening and special needs of older adults receiving cancer care. Findings: Elders and their caregivers are receptive to presentations on cancer designed to meet their needs. Aging and Cancer has been offered as a one hour, ninety minute and three hour presentation to inform elder audiences and their caregivers on the importance of cancer screening and early detection. Conclusion: Cancer 101 and adaptations such as Aging and Cancer provide an opportunity to increase knowledge and understanding about cancer, lessen fears and dispel myths about the disease, while encouraging prevention, screening and early detection of cancer.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will learn why cancer is a growing concern for elders; 2. Participants will learn how Cancer 101 can be adapted to reach out to elders and their caregivers to inform them of the importance of cancer screening and early detection; 3. Participants will learn where to find the latest, most accurate cancer information; 4. Participants will discuss five factors contributing to improved elder cancer survival.

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the NCIís Cancer Information Service NW Region, Partnership Program Coordinator for Alaska, since March 2005. As the Partnership Program Coordinator, my responsibilities include collaborating with partners in planning, developing and implementing cancer interventions to achieve NCI priorities, providing partners with training, technical assistance and evaluation support and access to the latest, most accurate cancer information and resources from NCI. I am a licensed social worker at the Masters level, with fifteen years professional experience leading programs to improve the health and wellbeing of the community. I developed the Cancer and Aging curriculum, first presented at the Alaska Geriatric Education Center's Best Practices in Elder Care Symposium, and continue to present and improve this curriculum.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.