Purpose of Review: Breast cancer incidence and mortality increase with age. Older patients (≥ 70) are often excluded from studies. Due to multiple factors, it is unclear whether this population is best-treated using standard guidelines. Here, we review surgical management in older women with breast cancer. Recent Findings: Geriatric assessments can guide treatment recommendations and aid in predicting survival and quality of life. Surgery remains a principal component of breast cancer treatment in older patients, though differences exist compared with younger women, including higher mastectomy rates and evidence-based support of omission of post-lumpectomy radiation or axillary dissection in subsets of patients. In those forgoing surgical management, there is increased use of endocrine therapy. Hospice is also a valuable element of end-of-life care. Summary: Physicians should utilize geriatric assessment to make treatment recommendations for older breast cancer patients, including omission of radiation therapy, alterations to standard surgeries, or enrollment in hospice care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Breast cancer
  • Geriatric assessment
  • Geriatric oncology
  • Lumpectomy
  • Older patients
  • Surgery


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