The Alliance commissioned a survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, that interviewed oncologists on the importance of caregivers for elderly colon cancer patients. 77% of physicians interviewed agreed that colon cancer patients 65 and older experience better disease outcomes when a caregiver is involved because of better communication. 81% also said that they depend on caregivers at least somewhat, and some a great deal, to act as an intermediary between them and the elderly patients. 100% fell the caregiver is part of a team involved in the patient’s disease management.
The physicians felt that the primary roles of the caregivers are to provide emotional support, participate in doctor’s visits and in disease management decisions, and to provide transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Unfortunately, only around three out of five colon cancer patients age 65 and older have the support of a caregiver.