The demographic changes will result in a profound increase of the number of elderly people within the next years. As a consequence of the age dependent increase of the incidence and mortality rate of cancer these changes will bring an increase in the number of elderly people with cancer. There is a number of differences between young and old patients diagnosed with cancer. This must result in an adaption of standardised oncological procedures, mainly designed for younger patients, to the special situation of elderly patients. The differences between young and old patients with cancer may be depicted by a structured geriatric assessment. Suggestions for the structure of such an assessment exist. Ongoing clinical trials have to demonstrate, whether or not the inclusion of a geriatric oncological assessment in the decision making process will result in an improvement of treatment results in elderly cancer patients diagnosed with cancer.