Study shows elderly women with breast cancer may be under-treated

Study shows elderly women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may be under-treatedA new study conducted by researchers from Athens University Medical School discovered that the elderly women who are receiving treatment for breast cancer are dying at a higher rate than those who are younger and have the same diagnosis. The study found that if a person is diagnosed at a later age, if they do not die from other health problems, they have a higher chance of dying from the cancer.

Researchers concluded that senior care for breast cancer patients was inadequate compared with the care that younger patients were receiving. Doctors are not treating older patients as aggressively because they assume they will die from something else.

"Elderly patients have often been considered as being not fit for state-of-the-art cancer care," said European Multidisplinary Cancer Congress president Michael Baumann. "All over Europe we see an increase in numbers of elderly patients and we more often see elderly patients who are fit and very good candidates for standard cancer treatments. Educational efforts, but also detailed research on predictors and supportive measures, are key to make sure that all cancer patients, irrespective of age, receive evidence based, best individual treatment approaches."