Post-operative outcomes in the elderly following colorectal cancer surgery

Colorectal Cancer

ANZ J Surg. 2020 Oct 22. doi: 10.1111/ans.16394. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Despite the prevalence of colorectal cancer in the elderly, there has been a lack of recent studies examining surgical outcomes in these patients. Post-operative outcomes of colorectal cancer surgeries in those aged 80 and above will be compared to those younger than 80.

METHODS: A retrospective study was conducted of adults receiving surgical resections at a single tertiary centre for colorectal cancer diagnosed between January 2017 and December 2019. Patient demographics, mode of presentation, tumour demographics, operative data and post-operative outcomes were investigated.

RESULTS: Of the 326 patients included, 56 were aged 80 and above. Older patients were more likely to be female (P = 0.02), present with surgical emergencies or from other workup rather than through screening (P = 0.002), have more locally advanced cancers (P = 0.009) and receive less neoadjuvant therapy (P = 0.016). Despite this, they had comparable outcomes to those younger than 80 in terms of length of stay (P = 0.21) and rates of complications including mortality (P = 0.67).

CONCLUSION: With appropriate patient selection and management, elderly patients can achieve comparable post-operative outcomes to their younger counterparts.