As the first Chief of the Geriatrics Service, which was established in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Department of Medicine in 2009, I provide a focal point for the care of our older patients with cancer.
Unlike just a decade ago, we now commonly offer cancer treatment to people in their 80s and even 90s. Many are contending with several health conditions in addition to cancer, and are taking numerous medicines while under the care of multiple physicians. As an internist with a specialty in geriatrics, I have expertise in treating these complex cases and provide comprehensive guidance that can help prevent avoidable complications.
Our Geriatrics Service also provides a much-needed framework for investigating new approaches and cancer therapies in this growing population. We both spearhead clinical research as well as collaborate with specialists in such areas as gynecologic malignancies, lymphoma, and psychiatry — and with Memorial Sloan Kettering’s long-established 65+ Program — in the hunt for best practices in caring for older patients with cancer.