Study: Elderly breast cancer patients, higher risk of fatality
Sep 26, 2011
Researchers from Athens University Medical School found that elderly breast cancer patients have a higher risk of dying than those who are younger and at the same progression of the disease.
The study found that it is possible doctors assume the elderly patient will die of another health-related problem, and do not fight the cancer as aggressively because they fear that they are not strong enough.
"Elderly patients have often been considered as being not fit for state-of-the-art cancer care," said European Multidisplinary Cancer Congress president Michael Baumann. "All over Europe we see an increase in numbers of elderly patients and we more often see elderly patients who are fit and very good candidates for standard cancer treatments. Educational efforts, but also detailed research on predictors and supportive measures, are key to make sure that all cancer patients, irrespective of age, receive evidence based, best individual treatment approaches."
According to the American Cancer Society, this disease is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer.