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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Mar;154(3):639-47.

Ovarian cancer in the elderly: an analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program data.


With use of a unique data set from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute for 11,062 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 1973 to 1982, this study focuses on the impact of old age on this malignancy. Aspects of ovarian cancer as it pertains especially to elderly women (those 65 years or older) are examined according to age/stage relationships at initial diagnosis and age variations in treatment and survival. Elderly women are more likely than younger women to be in advanced stages of ovarian cancer at initial diagnosis, and they constitute about 42% of this group. In the stage-unknown category, over 50% are 65 years or older. Data suggest that elderly women are treated more conservatively than younger patients. The National Cancer Institute data also illustrate the increased preference to treat this neoplasm with surgical procedures and chemotherapy rather than surgical procedures and radiation. For Stages III and IV disease, 5-year relative survival rates for elderly women are almost one half of the rate observed for women under 65. Although the prognosis of patients with advanced ovarian tumors is poor for all, it is even worse as age progresses.

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