Ovarian Cancer Canada

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Multimorbidity and Cancer Outcomes: A Need for More Research

“As comorbidities accumulate with age, the number of patients with multimorbidity, ie, the coexistence of several chronic diseases, is increasing dramatically5 on patients with four or more chronic conditions.”

Henrik Toft Sørensen, Editor in Chief, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital,

Aarhus, Denmark

http://www.dovepress.com/multimorbidity-and-cancer-outcomes-a-need-for-more-research-peer-
reviewed-article-CLEP

Cancer incidence increases with age, and about 43% of men and 30% of women aged 65 will develop cancer in their remaining lifetimes1 cancer in, for example, the US, will be diagnosed in older patients2 improved and 5-year survival exceeds 80% for many common cancers3 complementary trends, the population of cancer survivors is growing at a rate of almost 2% per year.4

As comorbidities accumulate with age, the number of patients with multimorbidity, ie, the coexistence of several chronic diseases, is increasing dramatically5 on patients with four or more chronic conditions. Multimorbidity is associated with mortality, disability, low functional status, and risks of adverse drug events6,7

Clinical and epidemiological research on cancer prognosis has mainly focused on cancers in isolation, ignoring the impact of comorbidity and co-medication on the risk of complications and mortality. Comorbidity is a medical condition that exists at the time of diagnosis of the cancer or later, but which is not a consequence of the cancer itself.8

Comorbidity is common in cancer patients, who often have adverse lifestyle factors such as alcohol use, obesity, and smoking, which cause other chronic diseases. Thus, many cancer patients have chronic disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute myocardial infarction, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.9–13

With the growing population of elderly patients with cancer and other chronic diseases, modern medicine will need to address multiple medical problems at once, focusing on mortality, treatment complications, quality of life, and implications for screening.7,14

In this issue of Clinical Epidemiology, comprehensive data on the impact of comorbidity and survival in cancer patients are reported. These provide very important insight into the association between multimorbidity and cancer prognoses.

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This entry was posted on November 19, 2013 by in Research Updates and tagged , .

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