Colorectal Cancer News
CRC in Elderly Patients
A new study by the American College of Surgeons examined the effects of older age on recovery from colon cancer surgery. Researchers commented that because of the often critical role of surgery, older patients and their surgeons often question decisions regarding major cancer surgery.
The study found that older patients were more likely to have post-operation problems and to receive blood transfusions, but at the same time have shorter operation times. Increased age was also associated with an increased risk of death, a greater frequency of major complications and more prolonged hospital stays.
Still, the researchers noted that despite its strong association with 30-day operative mortality, the impact of older age was comparable to other surgery risk-factors.
The study, which was one of the largest multihospital studies, concluded that older age is independently associated with worse short-term outcomes after major cancer surgeries. However, the effect of age was not prohibitively worse, and is comparable to the effects of other surgery risk factors. These findings support the use of risk-based treatment decision-making in older patients.
1) Al-Refaie WB, Parsons HM, Henderson WG, et al. Major Cancer Surgery in the Elderly: Results From the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Ann Surg. 2009 Oct 15. Read the study.