ABSTRACT: Management of cancer in the older-aged patient is an increasingly common problem in our occidental societies. Cancer is a disease primarily of older persons: over 60% of all cases of cancer are diagnosed after age 65 - an age group that constitutes less than 20% of the western population and the risk of persons over 65 years of age developing cancer is at least 10 times that of those under 65. Cancer in older persons may be considered a different disease from cancer in the younger in that way that biology of the host could influence the growth of cancer, that the management of the disease deserved an individualized approach. Indeed, the normal process of aging is associated with a progressive age-related reduction in function of many organs, including losses such as renal, pulmonary, cardiac, immune, hepatic, haematological, muscles, osseous, sight, hearing and brain functions. The consequences of these changes with age, added to comorbid diseases, have major implications on toxicities of anti-cancer therapies, surgery, radiotherapy as well as chemotherapy. However chronologic age should not be used as a guide to cancer therapy. Performance status and physiologic performance of the older patient are of prime importance to decide and conduct chemotherapy.
Bulletin du cancer 05/2008; 95 FMC Onco:F28-36. · 0.67 Impact Factor