The Particulars: Elderly patients with colorectal or bladder cancers are generally treated with chemotherapy and radiation rather than surgery because of risks associated with surgery. Advanced and minimally invasive surgical procedures may enable the elderly to experience fewer risks.
Data Breakdown: A study involving patients aged 80 to 88 who underwent robotic-assisted cystectomy demonstrated an average postoperative length of stay of 7 days and few complications within the first 90 days after surgery. In a separate study, more patients receiving laparoscopic surgery were disease free from colorectal cancers than those undergoing open surgery (60% vs 40%) when assessed 5 years after surgery.
Take Home Pearl: Robotic-assisted bladder operations and laparoscopic colorectal surgery appear to be viable and safe procedures for octogenarians with colorectal or bladder cancers.
For more information on these studies and others that were presented at the ACS 2012 Annual Clinical Congress, go to www.facs.org/clincon2012.