Surgical mortality, survival, and quality of life after resection for gastric cancer in the elderly

Chew Wun Wu, Su Shun Lo, King Han Shen, Mao Chih Hsieh, Wing Yiu Lui, Fang Ku P'eng

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128 Citations (Scopus)


Although there were some studies on clinicopathologic characteristics, operative morbidity, and mortality in elderly patients with gastric cancer, no reports have specifically focused on survival and quality of life after resection. A total of 433 patients aged ≥ 65 years (1987-1994) who underwent gastric resection for gastric adenocarcinoma were studied. Two groups were considered: patients aged 65 to 74 years and those > 74 years. Most of the patients (78.1%) had advanced diseases, and nearly half (41.3%) had associated chronic disease(s). Resections with curative intention were performed in 362 patients (83.6%). The overall operative morbidity rate was 21.7% and mortality rate 5.1%. Although operative procedures were similar in both groups, patients aged >74 years had a higher mortality rate than those aged 65 to 74 years (10.1% vs. 3.5%; p = 0.034). Age and extent of gastric resection were two independent factors negatively affecting mortality. The cumulative survival rates for patients who underwent curative resection were 86.2%, 72.4%, 67.2%, 62.9%, and 60.0% at 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years, respectively. Nearly all patients (96%) after surgery had normal work and daily activities. Some patients appeared to lack energy (16%) or experienced a period of anxiety or depression. There was no statistical difference in survival and quality of life assessed by the Spitzer index after curative resection between the two groups. Therefore resection with curative intention can be performed for the elderly with acceptable morbidity and mortality rates, possible long-term survival, and good quality of life, but a limited operation should be considered in the very elderly patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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