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World J Surg Oncol. 2012 May 17;10:88. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-10-88.

Comprehensive geriatric assessment for older women with early breast cancer - a systematic review of literature.

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Division of Breast Surgery, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.



The Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA) is an analytical tool increasingly implemented in clinical practice. Breast cancer is primarily a disease of older people; however, most evidence-based research is aimed at younger patients.


A systematic review of literature was carried out to assess the use of CGA in older breast cancer patients for clinical decision making. The PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched.


A total of nine useful full text article results were found. Only five of these were exclusively concerned with early breast cancer; thus, studies involving a variety of cancer types, stages and treatments were accepted, as long as they included early breast cancer.The results comprised a series of low sources of evidence. However, all results shared a common theme: the CGA has a use in determining patient suitability for different types of cancer treatment and subsequently maximizing the patient's quality of life.


There is not yet sufficient high level evidence to instate CGA guidelines as a mandatory practice in the management of breast cancer, due to the heterogeneity of available studies. More studies need to be conducted to cement current work on the benefits of the CGA. An area of particular interest is with regard to treatment options, especially surgery and chemotherapy, and identifying patients who may be suitable for these treatments.

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