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Scholarly Communication

Optimising surgical management of elderly cancer patients

Ramesh, Hodigere Sripathy Jois; Pope, Daniel; Gennari, Roberto and Audisio, Riccardo A (2005) Optimising surgical management of elderly cancer patients. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 3 . Article Number: 17. ISSN 1477-7819

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



Background: Elderly population is on rise. It is an ethical dilemma how aggressive one should be when it comes to treat cancer in elderly. Presumed fear of increased postoperative morbidity and mortality has resulted in delivery of sub-optimal cancer surgery. Methods: In this review article we visit physiology of the aged, tools available to assess surgical risks in oncogeriatric patients, and current practice in the management of common cancers encountered in surgical oncology, with the view of increasing awareness on optimising surgical management of senior patients with cancer. A pubmed search for cancer, surgery, elderly, was carried out. Results: Cancer is on rise with increasing age predominantly affecting breast, gastrointestinal tract and lung. Increasingly more surgeons are offering surgery to elderly cancer patient but selection bias is prevalent. Available data reflect short and long-term outcome of cancer surgery in elderly is not greatly different to that of younger patient. Declining physiological reserve along with inability to respond adequately to physiological stress are salient age related changes. Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is not tested in surgical patient. There is need for a tool to define individualised operative risk. Preoperative assessment of cancer in elderly is designed to offer this information based on functional status of an individual utilising currently available tools of risk assessment. Conclusion: All elderly cancer patients should be offered optimal treatment depending on their functional status not on chronological age. Oncogeriatric patient would benefit from dedicated multidisciplinary approach. Recruitment of elderly cancer patients to more clinical trials is needed to enhance our knowledge and to offer optimum treatment to this unique subgroup.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Published: 23 March 2005. 14 pages (page numbers not for citation purposes).
Uncontrolled Keywords:Elderly Population; oncogeriatric patients; surgical oncology
Subjects:R Medicine > RD Surgery
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Medicine > School of Population, Community & Behavioural Sciences
Publisher's Statement:© 2005 Ramesh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Related URLs:
ID Code:716
Deposited On:26 Jun 2008 13:57
Last Modified:19 May 2011 21:10

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