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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2013 August;26(4):309-11


language: English

Breast cancer surgical treatment in elderly patients

Amato B. 1, Donisi M. 1, Rocco N. 1, Iannone L. 1, Testa S. 1, Compagna R. 1, Vigliotti G. 1, Rispoli C. 2, Salvati V. 1, Gentile M. 1, Sivero L. 1

1 Department of General, Geriatric, Oncologic Surgery and Advanced Technologies, Federico II University, Naples, Italy; 2 Department of General and Emergency Surgery, ASL Napoli1 Centro, Naples, Italy


Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of mortality in women. The diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with a favorable prognosis if there is a hormonal high sensitivity, an attenuated expression of HER-2 and a low degree of mitotic indices. Although breast cancer occurs predominantly in elderly patients, this population is not well represented in clinical trials. A significant proportion of patients older than 70 years with operable breast cancer died of causes unrelated to the tumor. A Cochrane review has confirmed that hormonal therapy with tamoxifen, performed in the first instance, is less effective than surgery (with or without subsequent hormonal therapy) both for local control, and for disease-free survival for breast cancer in older women. In conclusion, surgery should not be denied to patients with advanced age, and various treatments proposable in the elderly are similar to those performed for outcome in young patients.

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