Factors affecting the post-operative outcomes in patients aged over 80 following colorectal cancer surgery

Raymond Yap, Simon Wilkins, Mohammad Asghari-Jafarabadi, Karen Oliva, Wei Chun Wang, Suellyn Centauri, Paul J. McMurrick

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Purpose: In 2019, in Australia, there were 500,000 people aged 85 and over. Traditionally, clinicians have adopted the view that surgery is not desirable in this cohort due to increasing perioperative risk, perceived minimal clinical benefit, and shortened life expectancy. This cohort study is aimed at investigating postoperative outcomes from elective and non-elective colorectal cancer surgery in patients aged 80 and over. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on patients from 2010 to 2020 on a prospectively maintained colorectal database. Patients aged over 80 who underwent surgical resection for colorectal cancer were reviewed. Oncological characteristics, short-term outcomes, overall survival, and relapse-free survival rates were analysed. Results: A total of 832 patients were identified from the database. Females comprised 55% of patients aged 80 and above. The median age was 84 for octogenarians and 92 for nonagenarians. Most patients were ASA 2 (212) or ASA 3 (501). ASA 3 and 4 and stage III pathology were associated with higher postoperative complications. Fifty percent of over 80 s and 37% of over 90 s were surgically discharged to their own home. Overall survival at 30, 180, and 360 days and 5 years was 98.1%, 93.1%, 87.2%, and 57.2% for the over 80 s and 98.1%, 88.9%, 74.9%, and 24.4% for the over 90 s. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that surgical treatment of older patients is safe with acceptable short-, medium-, and long-term survival. Nonetheless, efforts are needed to reduce the rates of complications in older patients, including utilisation of multi-disciplinary teams to assess the optimal treatment strategy and postoperative care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Older patients
  • Patient outcomes
  • Surgical outcomes

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