Breast cancer in the elderly: treatment of 1500 patients.
ABSTRACT There is a significant difference in the extent of treatment offered to the elderly with breast cancer; in the United States, while 98% of patients less than 65 years of age receive standard treatment, 81% of those older than 65 years were treated according to protocol. This study's goal was to evaluate disease-specific survival and local-regional recurrence in breast cancer patients more than 65 years of age at diagnosis. A total of 1500 patients with invasive breast carcinoma were treated consecutively from May 1971 to July 2002 at the University of Florence, Florence, Italy. All patients were more than 65 years of age. The median age was 70.6 years (range 65.1-87.3 years). The median follow-up was 8.7 years (range 1-30 years). The crude probability of survival (or relapse occurrence) was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and survival (or relapse occurrence) comparisons were carried out using Cox proportional hazard regression models. The Cox regression model by stepwise selection showed as independent prognostic factors for disease-specific survival (DSS), the occurrence of a local relapse (p < 0.0001), pN status (p < 0.0001), the type of surgery (p < 0.0001), and the use of radiotherapy (p < 0.0006) and chemotherapy (p = 0.01). For local disease-free survival (LDFS), the Cox regression model by stepwise selection showed that mastectomy (p < 0.0001), histotype (p < 0.0001), pN status (p < 0.0001), and pT status (p = 0.001) were the only independent prognostic factors. Age was not a prognostic factor for DSS nor LDFS. We suggest treating patients with appropriate treatment for their prognostic factors.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Older women have high rates of breast carcinoma, and there are substantial variations in the patterns of care for this population group. The authors studied 718 breast carcinoma patients age 67 years and older who were diagnosed with localized disease between 1995 and 1997 from 29 hospitals in 5 regions. Data were collected from patients, charts, and surgeons. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate determinants of treatment. Women who were concerned about body image were 1.8 times more likely (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.1-2.8) to receive breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy than women without this preference, controlling for other factors. In contrast, women who preferred receiving no therapy beyond surgery were 3.9 times more likely (95% CI, 2.9-6.1) to undergo mastectomy than other women, after considering other factors. Radiotherapy was omitted after breast conservation 3.4 times more often (95% CI, 2.0-5.6) among women age 80 years and older than among women ages 67-79 years, controlling for covariates. Black women tended to have radiotherapy omitted after breast conservation surgery 2.0 times more often (95% CI, 0.9-4.4) than white women (P = 0.09). Women age 80 years and older also were 70% less likely (odds ratio = 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.8) to receive chemotherapy than women ages 67-79 years, controlling for health, functional status, and other covariates. After considering other factors, patient preferences and age were found to be associated with breast carcinoma treatment patterns in older women. Further research and training are needed to provide care for the growing population of older women that is both clinically appropriate and consonant with a woman's preferences.Cancer 09/2000; 89(3):561-73. · 5.20 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The appropriate use of adjuvant chemotherapy for elderly women with breast carcinoma remains controversial. Efficacy data in women age >/= 70 years are scarce, resulting in a lack of clear guidelines for patients in this age group. Although several studies have demonstrated decreasing use of chemotherapy with age, none specifically examined its use in an elderly cohort of patients who were deemed eligible for such therapy based on consensus guidelines, simultaneously examining the impact of comorbidity and previous history of malignant disease on these recommendations. The authors examined adjuvant chemotherapy use among chemotherapy-eligible patients age > or = 50 years who were evaluated in a tertiary care cancer center. Associations between patient age and 1) physician recommendation for adjuvant chemotherapy, 2) recommended treatment regimen, and 3) patient acceptance of the treatment plan recommended were examined, adjusting for the impact of aggressive tumor characteristics, medical comorbidity, previous history of malignant disease, and features of the treatment setting. Of the 208 chemotherapy-eligible patients who were studied, 74% overall were recommended chemotherapy. Chemotherapy was recommended to 92% of women age 50-59 years compared with 77% of women age 60-69 years and 23% of women age > or = 70 years. Increasing age was associated strongly with a decreasing likelihood of receiving a recommendation in favor of chemotherapy. After adjusting for estrogen receptor status, previous history of malignant disease, comorbidity score, and prognostic group, the odds of receiving a recommendation in favor of chemotherapy fell by 22% per year or 91% per 10-year interval, and the rate of decline did not change significantly at age > or = 70 years. We found no age-related differences in either the drug regimens recommended or patient acceptance rates for adjuvant therapy. Age was associated strongly and independently with physician recommendation for adjuvant chemotherapy among a group of older women who were eligible specifically for such therapy. Medical comorbidity and a history of previous malignant disease did not alter this correlation significantly, although the latter was a significant predictor of chemotherapy use. Further studies clearly are needed to determine the underlying reasons for this strong age effect and to explore strategies that will optimize the utilization of this potentially curative therapy in the elderly.Cancer 05/2003; 97(9):2150-9. · 5.20 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Considerable uncertainty exists about the use of cancer screening tests in older people, as illustrated by the different age cutoffs recommended by various guideline panels. We suggest that a framework to guide individualized cancer screening decisions in older patients may be more useful to the practicing clinician than age guidelines. Like many medical decisions, cancer screening decisions require weighing quantitative information, such as risk of cancer death and likelihood of beneficial and adverse screening outcomes, as well as qualitative factors, such as individual patients' values and preferences. Our framework first anchors decisions through quantitative estimates of life expectancy, risk of cancer death, and screening outcomes based on published data. Potential benefits of screening are presented as the number needed to screen to prevent 1 cancer-specific death, based on the estimated life expectancy during which a patient will be screened. Estimates reveal substantial variability in the likelihood of benefit for patients of similar ages with varying life expectancies. In fact, patients with life expectancies of less than 5 years are unlikely to derive any survival benefit from cancer screening. We also consider the likelihood of potential harm from screening according to patient factors and test characteristics. Some of the greatest harms of screening occur by detecting cancers that would never have become clinically significant. This becomes more likely as life expectancy decreases. Finally, since many cancer screening decisions in older adults cannot be answered solely by quantitative estimates of benefits and harms, considering the estimated outcomes according to the patient's own values and preferences is the final step for making informed screening decisions.JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 07/2001; 285(21):2750-6. · 29.98 Impact Factor