Elderly women with early-stage, nonmetastatic breast cancer do not always receive recommendations for definitive surgical treatment. The reasons vary and include patient and provider-related reasons.We queried the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database from 2010 to 2013 for women age 60 and older with stage I/II/III invasive breast cancer for whom local treatment was known. We divided the patients into 3 groups: patients for whom surgery was performed; patients for whom surgery was recommended but not performed; patients for whom surgery was not recommended and not performed. We used Kaplan-Meier method to generate OS curves and the Cox proportional hazard test to compare survival outcomes.A total of 119,404 patients were eligible for study with a median age between 70 and 74 years old. Compared with patients who received breast surgery, patients who did not receive surgery had a worse overall survival (OS) (hazard ratio [HR], 7.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.98-7.83, P<.001). Patients who were recommended but ultimately did not undergo surgery had better OS than those who were recommended against surgery (adjusted HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.53-0.69). However, their survival was significantly inferior to patients who underwent surgery (adjusted HR, 2.81; 95% CI 2.48-3.19). Similar results were found regardless of age, tumor stage, estrogen receptor, or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status and were recapitulated in analyses of cancer-specific survival.Upfront definitive breast surgery should be performed in medically-fit elderly patients with early-stage, nonmetastatic breast cancer given significant survival benefit.
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