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Management of elderly women with endometrial cancer
20 September 2018 (online)
Elderly women with endometrial cancer receive less therapy in comparison with their younger counterparts. The exact reason(s) for this treatment strategy remains unclear.
Patients and methods:
We performed a multicenter, retrospective registry-based study of 1550 patients with endometrial cancer. The outcome measure was the reason for not performing the indicated treatment.
Median follow-up was 76.8 months. A total of 1550 women were eligible for analysis: 353 (22.7%) were younger than 60years, 521 (33.6%) 61 – 70 years, 515 (33.2%) 71 – 80 years, and 161 (10.4%) were aged 81 years old and older. Elderly women were more likely to have non-endometrioid, undifferentiated endometrial cancer at an advanced stage. Patients younger than 60 years were more likely to receive lymphadenectomy, brachytherapy, external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and systemic therapy compared with the group of patients aged older than 70 years. We investigated the reason why elderly women were undertreated. The rate of indicated therapies that were not recommended by the physicians proportionally increased with an increase in patient age. Interestingly, the rate of contraindications because of performance status and/or medical disease also increased proportionally with increasing patient age. Notably, in the groups of patients older than 70 years, patient refusal was a very uncommon reason for failure to perform the indicated therapy.
Elderly women with EC are more likely undertreated because the therapy was not recommended by the physicians based on performance status and medical diseases rather than patient refusal.