Geriatric Oncology Program

Addressing the unique needs of older adults with cancer.

It surprises many people to learn that the highest rates of cancer and death from cancer are in those age 65 years and older. What is less surprising is that people at this age are more likely to have other health conditions that can impact the way their bodies tolerate treatment for cancer.

Because of this, treating older people with cancer requires a deeper understanding of their often complicated health needs.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that most studies focus on younger, fitter patients. With little research available to guide oncologists, many older cancer patients are either over- or under-treated for the disease.

The Geriatric Oncology Program at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, focuses specifically on the care of older adults with cancer. The team of providers have advanced training in caring for older cancer patients, determines treatment and support based on each patient’s individual needs.

Comprehensive assessment

From the very beginning, providers with the Geriatric Oncology Program perform a special assessment of each older cancer patient to identify any vulnerabilities that might go undetected in a routine exam.

With the goal of improving outcomes in older adults with cancer, the exam also:

  • Predicts potential complications from treatment
  • Guides the implementation of supportive care interventions
  • Estimates survival
  • Facilitates treatment decisions

For more information, call 860.972.5764.


When you hear the word cancer, there’s a whole range of emotions that washes over you – shock, anger, fear.


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Meet our Geriatric Oncology Specialists

Name Specialties Location
Cannan, Catherine Joanna, APRN, NP-C
4.8 /5
54 surveys
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Plainville
Elias, Rawad, MD
4.9 /5
111 surveys
  • Medical Oncology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Hematology / Oncology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Hartford
  • Willimantic
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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute