Older breast cancer patients are at higher risk of dying
Feb 9, 2012
A new international study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women over 75 years of age are more likely to die from breast cancer compared with younger individuals with the disease, according to Reuters.
Researchers studied nearly 10,000 women who underwent surgery because of breast cancer and found that 5 percent of patients younger than 65 and 6 percent of patients between 65 and 74 died of the disease within five years. However, 8 percent of over 75 died from the cancer.
Also, the researchers found the number of patients who underwent chemotherapy and radiation after surgery was much smaller for those over 75.
"There are beliefs that older women do not benefit from chemotherapy as much as younger women, and that the side effects are worse," Gerrit-Jan Liefers, a researcher at Leiden University Medical Centre in The Netherlands who also worked on the study, told the news source.
According to American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer. However, the death rate has been decreasing since 1990 due to advancements and breakthrough breast cancer news. There are currently 2.5 million survivors in the United States.