, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 269-282
Date: 18 Jun 2014

Colorectal Cancer of the Elderly

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Opinion statement

Colorectal cancer (CRC) disproportionately affects the elderly. Older age is a strong risk factor for both the development of precancerous adenomas and CRC, thus raising the issue of screening and surveillance in older patients. However, screening and surveillance decisions in the elderly can be complex and challenging. Elderly patients are a diverse and heterogeneous group and special considerations such as co-morbid medical conditions, functional status, and cognitive ability play a role in one’s decisions regarding the utility of screening and surveillance. Such considerations also play a role in factors related to screening modalities, such as colonoscopy, as well as CRC treatment options and regimens. This review addresses many of the unique factors associated with CRC of the elderly and critically examines many of the controversies and challenges surrounding CRC in older patients.