The accredited CME learning activity based on this article is offered under the auspices of the CE department of the University of Toronto. Participating physicians are entitled to one (1) MAINPRO-M1 credit by completing this program, found online at www.geriatricsandaging.ca/cme
Christine B. Brezden-Masley, MD, PhD, Staff Physician, Department of Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital; Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Maureen Trudeau, BSc, MA, MD, Acting Regional Vice President, Cancer Services--Clinical; Head, Division of Medical Oncology/Hematology, Sunnybrook & Women’s College Hospital Sunnybrook Campus; Head, Systemic Therapy Program, Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre; Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer mortality in women over 65 years of age. Older women with breast cancer are usually understaged and undertreated as a result of factors such as significant patient comorbidities, patient preferences, age-biases, and poor cognition. Furthermore, women over the age of 70 have been excluded from many breast cancer clinical trials, making treatment conclusions difficult. Patients’ characteristics (including age and comorbidities) should be considered when deciding on the final treatment, a decision ideally made by both the treating physician and the patient. This review will discuss current treatment strategies for breast cancer patients, with a focus on the older population.
Key words: breast cancer, older adults, staging, systemic chemotherapy, radiotherapy.