Breast Cancer Care comments on research carried out by the University of Sussex and Brighton & Sussex Medical School published in Annals of Oncology that finds just 14% of patients aged over 70 with early breast cancer are offered standard chemotherapy after surgery.
Lizzie Magnusson Policy and Campaigns Manager at Breast Cancer Care said:
'Chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer can reduce the likelihood of cancer returning in the future. So it is worrying that decisions made on the basis of age alone may sometimes be influencing breast cancer treatment management even among those considered at high risk of recurrence as this study suggests.
'Age-related differences in chemotherapy use can be partly explained by the higher proportion of grade 3 and/or node-positive cancers in younger patients however this does not entirely account for the results of the study.
'Breast Cancer Care is concerned that older patients may not be having their breast cancer treated in line with national evidence-based guidelines. We believe that every older patient with breast cancer should be treated as an individual and the NHS must work to reduce inequalities in the treatment of older people with breast cancer and the variation in treatment decisions across hospital sites.'
For further media information please contact:
Sophie Softley Pierce
0207 960 3505
About Breast Cancer Care
When breast cancer and its treatment overshadow everything we see the woman underneath. Breast Cancer Care is the only UK-wide charity dedicated to providing emotional and practical support for anyone affected. Our free Helpline information-packed website and online forums offer a friendly ear and expert information to those dealing with this life-threatening disease. Across the UK we offer a range of confidential face-to-face services for people living with and beyond breast cancer. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit breastcancernow.org or call our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.