Colorectal cancer outcomes in nonagenarian patients: A case series

Stephanie Au, Nicholas T. Ventham*, Satheesh Yalamarthi, Natarajan Manimaran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Increased life expectancy and improved medical management of co-morbidities has led to an increasing number of nonagenarian patients with colorectal cancer being considered for surgical intervention. This study aims to describe the morbidity and mortality of nonagenarians who had operative and non-operative management for colorectal cancer. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of consecutive colorectal cancer patients from 2010 to 2016 in a district general hospital in Scotland who were 90 years old or above was performed. Demographic and perioperative data were obtained from case note review. Survival analysis and multivariable regression was conducted to determine factors associated with cancer-specific and all-cause mortality. Results: Forty-nine patients were identified; 24 patients underwent operative management (median age: 91) while 25 received non-operative management (median age: 92). Fifteen patients (62.5%) had an elective operation, and 8 (37.5%) had an urgent or emergency procedure. None of the patients treated operatively suffered a significant complication or anastomotic leakage. Median hospital stay was 14 days. Five patients (20.8%) required a higher level of care in the community following discharge. Surgical mortality within 30 days was 4.2%. Patients undergoing an elective operation had a significantly improved survival compared to those undergoing an emergency operation or non-operative management. On multivariable analyses, non-operative management, and presence of metastases at diagnosis were associated with higher cancer-specific mortality. Conclusion: Elective operative management for carefully selected nonagenarian patients with colorectal cancer is generally acceptable in terms of morbidity and mortality. The majority of operatively managed patients returned to the same functional level of care following discharge. Patients with metastases at the outset and those requiring emergency surgery have a poorer prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Colorectal resection
  • Colorectal surgery
  • Elderly care
  • Geriatrics
  • Nonagenarian
  • Postoperative complications


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