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J Gastrointest Surg. 2012 May;16(5):1029-36. doi: 10.1007/s11605-011-1818-x. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Long-term outcome following surgery for colorectal cancers in octogenarians: a single institution's experience of 204 patients.

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Department of General Surgery, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore, 308433, Singapore.



The incidence of colorectal cancer in elderly patients is likely to increase with an aging population. The aims of this study are to review our experience in the surgical management of octogenarians with colorectal cancers and to identify factors that influence the short-term and long-term outcomes.


A retrospective review of all octogenarians who underwent surgery for colorectal cancer from December 2002 to October 2008 was performed.


We identified 204 patients with a median age of 84 years (range, 80-97 years). The majority of patients had an American Society of Anesthesiologists score ≥3 (n = 142, 69.6%) and a Charlson Comorbidity Index of ≤3 (n = 128, 62.7%). Emergency surgery was performed in 83 (40.7%) patients. Left-sided malignancy was seen in 138 patients (67.6%). Most of the patients had either stage II (n = 75, 36.8%) or III (n = 69, 33.8%) diseases. The 30-day mortality rate was 16.2% (n = 33). After multivariate analysis, the independent variables predicting worse perioperative complications and death were age >85 years old, emergency surgery, and Charlson Comorbidity Index >3. The median follow-up for the 171 remaining patients was 27 months (range, 2-92 months). The 30-day readmission rate was 2.9% (n = 5). Thirty-one (21.2%) of 146 patients who survived curative surgery developed recurrent disease. Seventy (34.3%) patients died from various etiologies after their first 30 days postoperatively (60% cancer-specific with median survival of 15 months and 40% noncancer-related with median survival of 14 months). Overall and disease-free survivals were adversely affected in patients with advanced malignancy and in those with severe perioperative complications.


Surgery for octogenarians with colorectal cancers is associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates which are associated with advanced age, emergency surgery, and Charlson Comorbidity Index >3. Long-term survival is dependent on the stage of the malignancy and the presence of severe perioperative complications.

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