Current Breast Cancer Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 98–109 | Cite as

Individualizing Local-Regional Therapy of Breast Cancer in the Elderly

  • Apoorve Nayyar
  • Trevor A. Jolly
  • Ellen T. Jones
  • Kandace P. McGuire
  • Hyman B. Muss
  • Kristalyn K. GallagherEmail author
Local-Regional Evaluation and Therapy (DM Euhus, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Local-Regional Evaluation and Therapy


Purpose of Review

The treatment of breast cancer in the elderly population requires a tailored approach. We summarize the current best evidence for personalized local-regional therapy in breast cancer patients older than 70.

Recent Findings

Breast cancer treatment in older adults incorporates the use of geriatric assessment tools to best evaluate functional status and treatment tolerability while accounting for the biologic profile of the disease. Surgical resection of the primary tumor with lymph node evaluation remains the cornerstone of local-regional control. Recent clinical trials demonstrate that surgery and radiation therapy may, however, be safely omitted in selected patients who are eligible for primary endocrine therapy. In patients with high-risk node-positive disease, DFS can be improved by systemic chemotherapy, but potential toxicity should be carefully considered in this population.


Patient-specific evaluation of the risks of both under- and over-treatment of breast cancer in the older adult is essential for delivering optimal care in this population.


Breast cancer Local-regional management Geriatric assessment Elderly 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers with particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Apoorve Nayyar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Trevor A. Jolly
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ellen T. Jones
    • 1
    • 4
  • Kandace P. McGuire
    • 5
    • 6
  • Hyman B. Muss
    • 1
    • 3
  • Kristalyn K. Gallagher
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer CenterChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical OncologyThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Hematology and Oncology DivisionUNC School of MedicineChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryVCU School of MedicineRichmondUSA
  6. 6.Massey Cancer CenterVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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