Breast cancer in elderly patients: a clinicopathological review of a Nigerian database

8 Dec 2022
Funmilola Olanike Wuraola, Olalekan Olasehinde, Matteo Di Bernardo, Akinbolaji A Akinkuolie, Adewale O Adisa, Adewale A Aderounmu, Tajudeen O Mohammed, Oluwatosin Z Omoyiola, Thomas P Kingham, Olusegun I Alatise

Background: Breast cancer in the elderly population has not been evaluated in the Nigerian context. With the rising incidence of breast cancer and the changing demographics, it is likely that an increasing number of elderly patients will be managed in the coming years in Nigeria. This review describes the clinicopathological profile of elderly patients with breast cancer in a Nigerian database.

Method: From a prospective institutional database, elderly patients (65 years and above) managed for breast cancer over a 9-year period were reviewed. Details of their socio-demographic characteristics, patterns of presentation, pathology, treatment and outcome were obtained and analysed.

Results: Of the 607 patients managed during the study period, there were 87 older patients accounting for 14.3% of the total. There was a progressive rise in the number of patients with breast cancer towards the latter part of the study. Expectedly, they were all post-menopausal, with their ages ranging from 65 to 92 years, with a mean of 71 ± 6.58 years. Systemic hypertension was the commonest co-morbidity (29.8%). The mean tumour size at presentation was 10 cm, with the majority presenting with stage 3 disease. Invasive ductal carcinoma was the predominant histological type 83 (95.4%); 44.4% of those who had immunohistochemistry were oestrogen receptor-positive. Approximately half underwent mastectomy (52.8%), 63 (72.4%) had chemotherapy, 8 (44.4%) had hormonal therapy and only 6 (6.9%) had combined multimodal therapy in addition to surgery. Overall 5-year survival was 42.1%.

Conclusion: The pattern of presentation and outcomes of care in this elderly cohort is similar to the general population. Early presentation and use of multimodal treatment is still the mainstay of survival.

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