Geriatric Oncology

William Dale, patient, fellow

Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly (SOCARE) Clinic

Older adults with cancer, especially frail older adults, often have different needs than younger adults who have cancer. The Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly (SOCARE) clinic at the University of Chicago Medicine campus was created in 2006 to anticipate and address the specific care needs of elderly cancer patients and survivors. The SOCARE clinic is unique in Chicago, and is staffed by board-certified physicians with expertise in geriatric medicine, geriatric oncology, and palliative care.

In the SOCARE clinic, our specialists serve as partners in cancer care decision making. We help patients, family members, loved ones, and other physicians understand the benefits, risks, and limitations of treating cancer in older adults. Our physicians work very closely with each patient's cancer specialists (medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists) to coordinate care and to help craft a comprehensive treatment plan that accounts for how frailty, co-existing disease, functional limitations, and cognitive deficits may impact treatment decisions.

SOCARE clinic services are available to all older cancer patients, with an emphasis on the following types of patients:

  • Frail older adults with complex care needs
  • Older patients with other co-existing medical conditions
  • Patients age 85 and older
  • Prostate and pancreatic cancer patients
  • Patients with palliative care needs
  • Adults 60 years and older who may be candidates for blood or bone marrow stem cell transplantation. Recognizing the distinct needs of these patients, the SOCARE team partnered with UChicago Medicine stem cell transplant experts to create the Older Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program.

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