We had a terrific session yesterday on quality of life in the elderly with four talks, very interesting, the first one by a patient with an interesting view of patients with breast cancer and elderly patients with breast cancer and what they want for professionals to do to give them as support and as treatment. The most important message is that we have to share with companions but also with patients and we have to explain exactly what we want, what is the objective, what we have to do with them.
Then we had another very interesting session and talk by Paolo Bossi on patient reported outcomes. This is really new, it is developed by Ethan Basch in the States, and now it’s moving to Europe. He presented the results of many studies and his trial and in the future we will have to work on it for every patient and especially on elderly patients.
Then the talk moved to the scores and the assessment of quality of life with a presentation of the different scales existing. So it’s difficult today to use all of them but more work is needed to explain and to use them. Then I did a talk on the guidelines for elderly and quality of life so it’s really huge that we work on it, we don’t have any guidelines today on elderly management for quality of life. Then I presented four steps, the first step, of course, is the assessment then the second step is the pre-habilitation, then we move to the assessment of safety and the management of safety with specificities of the elderly patients. Then at the end we have to follow, to monitor, patients at the end of life but also in the survivorship setting. So that’s the most important message of my talk and of all the session was that we have to manage together in a multi-disciplinary approach our elderly patients as well as older patients.
What do you think is a suitable timeline for a guideline on quality of life?
SIOG has been involved and the members of SIOG have been involved in the guidelines work. So to implement them we have to work on them, to present them, and then to have clear options and clear visions of what we have to do with the different steps, of course, and to work on it with a team in every cancer department.
What are some of the conference highlights?
The world conference SIOG is moving to a real international vision. At the start there were many French people and we see today many international attendees so that’s really interesting and it shows that elderly patients are in our mind, in the mind of every caregiver, every health professional. So it’s important because, as you know, elderly patients will become a major part of the population and of patients with cancer. So it’s an enjoyment, I’m really happy to sit at, many professionals are involved in the elderly setting.