Tag Archives: elderly

Clinical Conundrum: When, how to treat colorectal cancer in the elderly

Even as scientists plumb deep into cells and molecules to understand cancer, there are many immediate and “real-life” questions that researchers and clinicians are discussing at the 2013 annual ASCO meeting (American Society of Clinical Oncology). One of the biggest puzzles for colorectal cancer is how to best treat the elderly, especially those with stages II or III (non-metastatic) cancer. It’s a huge question: today, 40 percent of colorectal cancer patients are elderly, and by the year 2030, more than 70 percent of non-inherited colorectal cancer will be among those 65 or older. Currently, 70 years old is the median age at diagnosis, with fully 40 percent of diagnoses made

Too Many Colonoscopies in Over-75s?

A study published in the March 11 JAMA-Internal Medicine suggests that 23 percent of over-75-year-olds have colonoscopies that may be “potentially inappropriate” according to national guidelines which include an upper age limit, as well as how often negative colonoscopies should be repeated. In a retrospective population study, University of Texas researchers looked at billings for 100 percent of colonoscopies performed in Medicare beneficiaries in Texas who were aged 70 years and older who had a colonoscopy in 2008 or 2009. They also examined a nationwide sample of 5% of Medicare claims. Colonscopies were classified as “screening” if records (including claims from 2000 to 2009) did not indicate a diagnosis, or

Oldest of Old Americans Will Drastically Impact U.S. Cancer Care

The numbers are stark and will touch every single American. A picture of cancer in the greying American population was drawn in a recent study in the Journal of Geriatric Oncology examining trends in the National Cancer Institute’s population-based SEER data: The number of “oldest of the old” Americans (age 85 or older) will double between 2000 and 2030; and will have tripled by 2040 (from 4.3 million to 15.4 million). Cancer in the oldest old is the 2nd leading cause of death: More than 1 in 5 over age 85 will develop cancer. The total cost of cancer care will rise 39% in just 10 years, between 2010 and 2020—much of that

Seniors undertreated for cancer pain

Older Cancer Patients Often Undertreated for Severe Pain Even when suffering severe pain, one-third of older cancer patients were not taking the strongest painkillers (opiods such as morphine, oxycodone or fentanyl) that could have helped ease that pain, according to a recent large Canadian study. The most likely reasons were that physicians were not prescribing the medicines, or that the older patients were afraid of side effects, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (April 1 2012). “Cancer pain is common, and its undertreatment is well described,” wrote the study authors, citing multiple previous studies including a worldwide 2008 literature review showing that half of patients with cancer have pain

CT Colonography Effective in Older Adults

CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) found more than twice the rate of large polyps or cancer in patients 65 and older compared to everyone being screened for colorectal cancer using the radiology-based test. About one in six older patients was referred for an optical colonoscopy based on findings from the scans. There were no major complications including colon perforations or bleeding, from either the CT procedure or the follow-up colonoscopy.

Older patients benefit from XELOX after surgery

Update from 2010 GI Cancers Symposium Colon cancer patients over 70 actually had a greater reduction in disease-free survival than did younger ones with a new regimen of Xeloda® and oxaliplatin compared to older IV 5-FU treatments according to a new analysis reported at the GI Cancers Symposium in Orlando. With the bolus IV 5-FU and leucovorin regimens, stage III colon cancer patients over 70 had about a 60 percent chance of being alive and free from cancer three years after surgery. With a combination of Xeloda (capecitabine) and oxaliplatin in a treatment called XELOX, their three-year disease-free survival was 66 percent. Younger patients had about a 3 percent absolute

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: December 29

Briefly Factors related to the patient, year of surgery, and tumor itself and not surgeons or pathologists explain low lymph node counts after colon and rectal surgery.  Lack of colorectal cancer screening leads to emergency surgery and complications and death among the elderly. Americans without health insurance are more likely to die, even when factors like overall health, smoking, and income are considered, and cancer patients who have support from family and friends at diagnosis are much more likely to look on the entire experience as a chance for positive growth years later. Finally, FDA has a good video to help people avoid health care frauds. Happy Holidays.  Enjoy family,

Avastin Effective for Older Patients

Colorectal cancer patients 65 and older without other serious medical problems benefitted when Avastin® (bevacizumab) was added to chemotherapy. Combining results of four randomized clinical trials of Avastin and chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, researchers found that adding Avastin increased both the time older patients lived and the time before their cancer got worse. Patients who were 70 and older had similar improvements.

Adjuvant Treatment Does Not Have Negative Impact on Elderly Quality of Life

Colon and rectal cancer patients 75 years old and older who are treated with chemotherapy or radiation don’t report any poorer quality of life than older patients who don’t have such therapy.  Patients who had chemotherapy said that their physical functioning was better than that reported by those who didn’t receive chemo.

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