The outcome and propriety of surgical treatment of colorectal cancer in the elderly

Hye Won Hwang, Min Young Koo, Jeong Eun Lee, Ryung Ah Lee, Kwang Ho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: As life expectancy increases, elderly colorectal cancer patients are also increasing. Compared to younger patients, the elderly manifest higher co-morbidity with more advanced and emergent disease. However, recent studies have reported similar surgical approaches irrespective of age distribution. We evaluated the outcome and propriety of surgical treatment of colorectal cancer in the elderly. Methods: The medial records of 464 colorectal patients, who underwent surgery during 2003 to 2007 in Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital were reviewed retrospectively. The patients were divided into three groups according to age: I (younger than 70), II (71∼80), III (older than 81). Clinical and histological characteristics, surgical outcomes and survival rates were analyzed. Results: Three hundred and thirty-eight patients belonged to group I, and 104 patients to group II, and group III included 22 patients. Although, male patients were more prevalent in all three groups, female distribution was slightly higher in group III. Clinical characteristics among the three groups did not reveal specific differences except TNM stage distribution. In group I and II, patients with stage II were more common compared to group III, whereas the latter showed most frequently stage III. Histological characteristics and postoperative morbidity rates did not show any difference among the three groups. The survival rate was lowest in group III. However, emergency operation was more frequent in group III, in accordance with increased postoperative complications. Conclusion: The elderly demonstrated comparable operative morbidity and mortality to the younger patients. Emergency operation was the only significantly influencing factor in the surgical outcome. Therefore, in colorectal cancer patients, surgical treatment in the elderly should be no longer contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Korean Surgical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Old-age
  • Surgical treatment


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