Cancer and the Older Adult

2.0 Continuing Education Credit Hours

Category: 300 Advanced Concepts

The American Cancer Society indicates that there are more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnoses expected in 2012; and almost three quarters of these newly diagnosed cases of cancer in the US are in persons 55 years old and older. This module will explore how life expectancy, functional status and comorbidity determine treatment in the older person with a cancer diagnosis, and how cancer behaves differently in older people.


Janine Overcash, PhD, GNP-BC

Janine has been in the health care field for almost 20 years as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She received her undergraduate degree in nursing from Florida State University, and a Masters in nursing and Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of South Florida. Janine is a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP) specializing in geriatric oncology, and is currently the Director of Nursing Research at the Ohio State University James Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. Her primary areas of interest are the care of the older patient diagnosed with cancer, with a focus on maintaining functional independence, performance status, and the ability to care for self, and assessment of the older cancer patient for prediction of cancer treatment tolerance. She has multiple publications including journal articles, book chapters, educational modules and materials, and has presented at multiple local, regional, national, and international conferences. In her spare time, Janine enjoys biking and jogging. Janine is from New Symrna Beach, Florida and is married with two boys; Cole 15 years old and Graham age 13.


  1. Learn what assessment instruments enhance oncology care for the older patient.
  2. Describe why cancer behaves differently in older adults.
  3. Learn what determines treatment in the older cancer patient.
  4. Understand why cancer is a disease of aging.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Post Test (which requires a score of 100%) and then the Module Evaluation, followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.