Heard in my SOCARE geriatric-oncology clinic this week, by an oncologist, “Geriatrics saved his life.” He was being honest and correct.
The patient was an older man with metastatic prostate cancer that was no longer responding to hormone thereapy. Although educated and accomplished, he had become homeless after having his assets stolen by a relative. There was no way to give him his necessary medications under the circumstances.
I pulled some strings to get him directly into a nursing home under my care. He reliably got his medicine, was fed, and received physical therapy. His cancer regressed, he gained weight, and he got stronger. A month later, he looked different enough for my colleague to make the above statement.
Unfortunately, like most hospitals these days, mine has almost no appreciation for what we do in geriatrics, believing things like chemotherapy are more important. While they won’t appreciate this story, I know you all will.