chapter  3
28 Pages

Surgery in the Elderly Oncology Patient

ByM. Margaret Kemeny, Julio Vaquerano

It is projected that by the year 2030, the number of cancers will reach 1.5 million in the elderly (1). Surgery remains the best treatment modality to cure solid tumors, regardless of age. Surgery is instrumental for diagnosis, resection with curative intent, or palliation. The incidence of many solid cancers continues to rise with age. Because the population of the United States is not only growing but also aging, the number of elderly patients with cancers requiring surgical intervention can be expected to rise. In fact, the elderly (65 and older) comprise 14% of the U.S. population and account for 63% of the cancer cases in the United States (2).