Study says surgery better than drugs for elderly breast cancer patients

Share this content:

Surgery is the best course of treatment for stopping the progression of breast cancer in older women with operable tumors, according to a new review of several recent studies.

Despite the fact that women ages 70 and older are rarely offered surgery to treat their breast cancer, British researchers have found surgery works better than hormone therapy, such as tamoxifen, in this age group.

At least two of the studies indicated that women could go longer without their breast cancer becoming worse if they have surgery, according to Daniel Hind of the University of Sheffield in England, and colleagues. Plus, elderly women who had surgery alone or surgery combined with hormone therapy were half as likely to have their cancer progress over the course of the study as those who opted for hormone therapy only, researchers said. Study lengths ranged from three years to 12 years.