Papers And Originals

Management of Breast Cancer in Old Age

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 24 October 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:201
  1. Basil A. Stoll,
  2. Thomas H. Ackland


    In a retrospective survey of 301 women aged over 70 with breast cancer the factors affectingfive-year survival are evaluated. The local disease is more advanced when the patient presents with it in old age than in younger women, possibly associated with a lesser degree of awareness or a long history of the primary tumour. It is not associated with a different average rate of tumour growth in old age, as measured by scar recurrences after surgery. Radical surgery may be followed by a high five-year survival rate in patients carefully selected on medical grounds, but in this unselected series the five-year survival rate was practically the same whether the local disease was limited or extensive at presentation and whatever the treatment given. The probability of five-year survival in a woman over 70 with breast cancer will depend mainly on her general health.