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Clin Geriatr Med. 2016 Feb;32(1):133-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2015.08.011. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Approach and Management of Breast Cancer in the Elderly.

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Department of Breast Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 1354, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Tennessee West Cancer Center, 1265 Union Avenue, Thomas Basement, Memphis, TN 38104, USA.
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA. Electronic address:


Breast cancer is the mostly commonly diagnosed cancer in women both in the United States and worldwide. Although advanced age at diagnosis is associated with more favorable tumor biology, mortality rates are comparatively higher in older adults, possibly attributed to advanced stage at presentation. There are minimal specific treatment-based guidelines in elderly patients with cancer, mostly attributable to their limited inclusion on clinical trials. In addition to the existing evidence from clinical trials and retrospective studies, practitioners need to take into consideration functional status, social support, patient preference, presence of comorbidities, and life expectancy when selecting optimal treatment.


Adjuvant chemotherapy; Adjuvant radiation; Axillary staging; Curative surgery; Endocrine therapy; Palliative chemotherapy

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