Lung Cancer in Older Adults
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- Frith, A.E. & Baggstrom, M.Q. Curr Geri Rep (2014) 3: 166. doi:10.1007/s13670-014-0092-7
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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality and is responsible for more deaths than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer combined. The majority of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are over the age of 65. Despite the prevalence of lung cancer in older adults, they have been notoriously underrepresented in clinical trials designed to help guide clinicians in the management of treatment. In the past 15 years, there have been many improvements that collectively have extended the lives of patients with metastatic lung cancer an average of one year after diagnosis. It is now well-established that age does not diminish the benefit of cancer treatment. However, certain toxicities are more common and may be less tolerated in this age group. It is therefore of paramount importance that clinicians work together to tease out which patients will benefit the most from treatment and to minimize toxicity.