Singapore: There is good news for older women suffering from breast cancer as researchers have found that breast cancer surgeries may be safely performed even for women aged 80 years and above.
"The results of this study are important as they dispel the misconception and fear among the public that surgery for elderly patients is unsafe and has a high complication rate", said Ong Kong Wee from the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) who led the research.
"Surgery is the most important modality in the treatment of breast cancer. It also relieves symptoms in patients who have tumours that do not respond to other therapies," Wee added.
The study explored the safety of breast cancer surgery in women aged 80 years and above.
A retrospective analysis was performed on 109 elderly women who underwent surgery in NCCS and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) from 2001 - 2010.
Although approximately 80 percent of patients had co-existing medical problems such as hyper-tension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus, there were no deaths recorded following the breast surgery.
More than 60 percent of patients recovered without any complications, while only three percent developed major complications but recovered subsequently.
"Surgery should always be considered even among elderly patients and performed expeditiously," Wee added.