Breast and ovarian cancer in the older woman
Nearly half of all women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer are age 65 years or older with the number of women diagnosed expected to increase as the population ages and life expectancy improves. Older women are less likely to be offered standard cancer treatments, are more likely to develop higher toxicity, and have higher mortality. Chronologic age should not be the only factor used for making treatment decisions. Functional dependence, organ function, comorbidity, polypharmacy, social support, cognitive and/or psychosocial factors, overall life expectancy, and patient's goals of care are equally vital and should be assessed before and during treatment. In this review, current evidence and treatment guidelines for older women with breast or ovarian cancer are outlined.