A recent study suggested elderly get complications after cancer surgery much more often and more severe than younger individuals. A group of researchers found that elderly patients with cancer surgeries tend to get complications afterwards compared to those in their middle ages.
Their situation gets even worse when they suffer from other health issues. Experts studied almost 1 million patients with cancer surgeries. They estimated that one in 10 grownups aged 55 or older suffered at least one post-operative problem. The most common post-operative issues are dehydration, delirium, falls, fractures, pressure ulcers or abnormal weight loss.
What’s more, experts claimed these problems occurred more frequently in patients who were at least 65. This happened because they had already other health problems or suffered serious surgeries for tumors of the digestive system. The risk was even higher in individuals over 75. Approximately 46 percent of them suffered at least one complication.
Dr. Hung-Jui Tan, a researcher in urologic oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles, claimed that
‘With the population aging, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider not only the survival benefits of cancer surgery but the impact on functionality, vitality and quality of life’.
In order to see how age can increase the risk of post-operative issues, Tan and his team examined hospital admission reports. They used samples of 940, 000 individuals aged 55 and older who suffered cancer surgeries from 2009 to 2011. Experts found that 23 percent of patients with ages between 65 and 74 are prone to develop such complications.
Those aged 75 or older had 66 percent higher chances to suffer from a post-operative issue. Scientists found that patients who had surgeries for cancers of the ovaries, colon, bladder, rectum or pancreas were most susceptible to develop at least one complication. Moreover, after having post-operative surgeries, patients developed even more complications during their hospitalization.
Researchers said that most of them die in the hospital rather than being discharged home. According to their opinion, elderly get complications after cancer surgery and doctors should decide if the benefits or surgery outweigh these risks.
However, there is a slight possibility that individuals developed such complication as a result of previously problems that weren’t taken care of. Tan claimed the study cannot prove that advanced age is the cause of post-operative problems. Nonetheless, experts’ results suggest doctors should take into consideration future risks when deciding the patients’ medication.
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