FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sep 21, 2020
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, September 18, at age 87 due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Along with being a distinguished jurist, Justice Ginsburg was, like her mother, a cancer patient.
Diagnosed with cancer five times over the past 21 years, Justice Ginsburg had undergone multiple surgeries, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Through it all, she stayed the course, rarely missing work while undergoing treatment.
Ginsburg is an example of how routine physical checkups, cancer screenings, and cancer treatment advances in recent decades are saving lives.
“Highly precise surgery, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies are extending the life expectancy of patients with cancer while offering a higher quality of life, and like Justice Ginsburg, allows them to continue making contributions much later into life,” says Randall A. Oyer, MD, President, Association of Community Cancer Centers.
ACCC is addressing the needs of older adults with cancer.
Ginsburg’s treatment regimen into her 80’s demonstrates that older adults should be comprehensively evaluated—and treated—for cancer according to their actual functional and cognitive ability, and not their numeric age.
“Justice Ginsburg’s cancer journey is one many older Americans face. It is critical that we continue to improve care delivery to older adults with cancer, including access to the latest treatments and participation in clinical trials, and develop tools and resources to support their treatment journey,” says Leigh Boehmer, PharmD, BCOP, Medical Director, Association of Community Cancer Centers.
ACCC is committed to supporting the multidisciplinary cancer team as they treat this growing patient population. Through the Multidisciplinary Approaches to Caring for Older Adults with Cancer education initiative, ACCC is creating tangible resources that can be used across cancer care settings to support the effective design and implementation of programs for managing geriatric patients with cancer.
In early December 2020, ACCC will release a Gap Assessment Tool to help cancer care professionals assess their program’s alignment with the key attributes and guidelines of a geriatric-focused healthcare program, and a How-to Geriatric Assessment Guide will offer practical solutions for cancer programs to take a comprehensive approach to geriatric screening and assessment—without the need for significant resources.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions in how we can continue to improve care for older adults with cancer.