Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center

Summer 2002

With Age, Comes Strength
Nutrition in the Senior Years
Taking Care of Others
Walking Towards Better Health
Suddenly a Senior
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Suddenly a Senior

Getting older sneaks up on you. Suddenly you're a senior facing all that that implies.You may be experiencing some aches and pains or perhaps some gray hairs are peeking through an otherwise perfect crown of black hair but generally you feel well and are able to live a good, quality life.

When, though, you are told you have cancer, your life can change dramatically. For the senior citizen, a cancer diagnosis brings up multiple issues. These may include limited finances and lack of meaningful support due to the death of friends and family.You may also face social isolation because there is no one available to do things with or bring you to scheduled doctor appointments. In addition, cancer treatment can limit your ability to function as independently as you may have before your diagnosis.

Recognizing that older cancer patients face different circumstances than younger cancer patients, the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital developed a program called Be the Best You Can Be. Held on May 7, the program attracted a large number of older cancer patients who came to learn about community resources, financial options, medicine interactions and how to become their own advocates.

The event lasted from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm and was such a success that the Joan Karnell Cancer Center plans to run it again next year. If you're an older cancer patient currently facing these types of issues, feel free to call Helen Grosky at 215-829-5954 for information and assistance.

Helen Grosky, MSS, Sarah Kagan and Marylou Osterman were at The Franklin Institute for the program, Secrets of Aging. Sarah Kagan, PhD, RN, CS, AOCN presented the talk “Older Adults and their Families Coping with Cancer” from the seminar Being the Best You Can Be.


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