Monday, August 26, 2013

What Are The Treatments For Slow Growing Breast Cancer In Elderly Patients

Elderly women may need less aggressive breast cancer therapy.

Elderly patients diagnosed with slow-growing breast cancer may need less aggressive treatment than younger women to keep the disease from spreading.


Breast cancer risk increases with age, according to the American Cancer Society. However, older women are more likely to be diagnosed with less-dangerous, slow-growing tumors.


Breast cancer treatment often involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Younger patients might receive all these treatments, but elderly patients with slow-growing tumors likely don't need such an approach.


An elderly woman's physician might recommend that she undergo limited surgery, called a lumpectomy, just to remove the tumor. Medical research has shown that breast cancer surgery is well-tolerated in otherwise healthy elderly women.


In addition to limited surgery, an elderly woman's physician likely will recommend that she take a prescription medication called tamoxifen for her slow-growing breast cancer. The drug targets the hormones that fuel breast cancer's growth.


Many women fear breast cancer. But medical studies have shown that slow-growing breast cancer tumors in elderly women are unlikely to progress far enough to become a real threat. Patients with slow-growing tumors should consult with their physicians about the best course of therapy for them.

Tags: breast cancer, slow-growing breast, slow-growing breast cancer, slow-growing tumors, with slow-growing