, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1520-1521
Date: 24 Mar 2011

The Challenge in Treating the Elderly Colorectal Cancer Patient

This is an excerpt from the content

The population of the USA is aging and, by 2030, 19% of our population, or about 72.1 million, will be aged 65 years or older: more than twice their number in the year 2000.1 Treating the elderly colorectal cancer patient is becoming increasingly commonplace, and since surgery forms the basis of treatment, we find ourselves on the front line, maneuvering around the elderly patient’s comorbidities, trying to avoid early morbidity and mortality, while at the same time balancing respect for the geriatric patient’s concerns over quality-of-life issues and desire for reasonable short-term outcomes with the desire to achieve good long-term cancer control. The study by Dekker et al. adds to our understanding of what happens when we operate on elderly colorectal cancer patients.2 These data should help as we struggle with managing this disease in this patient population.

The primary conclusion put forth by the authors of this population-based study of colorectal cancer patients from the western