Why you’re less likely to get breast cancer treatment at age 75; Charities warn of ‘unconscious bias’ by doctors
- Shocking figures are from the National Audit of Breast Cancer in Older Patients
- Research done by Royal College of Surgeons and Association of Breast Surgery
- While 96 per cent of patients aged 50 to 69 have surgery to remove tumours, this falls to 76 per cent for those over 70
Older women with breast cancer are far less likely to undergo lifesaving treatments, a major audit has shown.
While 96 per cent of patients aged 50 to 69 have surgery to remove tumours, this falls to 76 per cent for those over 70.
They are also half as likely to have chemotherapy, figures compiled by the Royal College of Surgeons show.
Older women with breast cancer are far less likely to undergo lifesaving treatments (stock image)
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A total of 61 per cent of women with a type of breast cancer that responds to chemotherapy were offered the treatment but this fell to 23 per cent for those over 70. The Royal College of Surgeons urged cancer specialists to tailor women’s treatment to their overall health and preferences rather than their age.
The figures are from the National Audit of Breast Cancer in Older Patients, carried out jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons and the Association of Breast Surgery.
Professor Kieran Horgan, lead surgeon on the audit, said: ‘This audit provides the clearest picture yet of the treatments that older women with breast cancer receive.
‘It also highlights a number of differences in the type of treatments that older women undergo, compared to younger women.
‘In some instances, it is not appropriate for an older woman to have surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
‘However, all women should be offered treatment tailored to their type of tumour, general health and preferences.’
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