The role of medical counseling in secondary prevention of cancer in the elderly

S. Giunta, L. Piantanelli, A. Basso, A. Morresi, R. Lanza, G. Groppa, U. Caruso, L. Fiori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Western countries the elderly are those who experience the major impact of cancer, as epidemiologic data clearly show. Thus, secondary prevention of cancer (SPC) in older persons deserves more attention than it has received until now. Target subjects, however, are often reluctant to enter SPC plans. The reasons range from the lack of knowledge about the importance of SPC to the underevaluation of the risk of cancer, or, even more often, to the anxiety and fear that may stem from such a clinical investigation. In this context, the intervention known as couseling finds its natural and essential role. In the paper some general considerations on the significance of medical counseling is given, with particular emphasis on its role in SPC in the elderly. The analysis herein reported points out the specific skills and methods that physicians can adopt to cope with the eventually adverse influences that may affect the participation of the elderly in SPC initiatives. However, such action should avoid any paternalistic approach and respect the patient's will and autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-300
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • cancer in elderly
  • medical counseling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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