Health, communication, and aging: Cancer and older adults

Jon F. Nussbaum, Doreen Baringer, Amanda Kundrat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The diagnosis of cancer is devastating to the patient as well as to the formal and informal relationship support networks of the individual who must now cope with the disease. This article highlights the significant interpersonal communication and relationship issues that affect the overall quality of life for an older individual who has been diagnosed with cancer. Scholars who study the interpersonal behavior of older adults and those who study the consequences of a devastating diagnosis within the overall health communication context can make a significant contribution to our understanding of the process of cancer communication. Not only is the diagnosis of cancer life changing for the patient, but it also changes the dynamics of each relationship between the older adult who has cancer and those who will help to care for the cancer patient both in a formal institutional setting and at home. Our understanding of communication and aging for healthy as well as ill individuals can help us to better predict and explain the complexities of cancer communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication


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