Quality & Safety

Age Determinants for Breast Surgery: Using the Choosing Wisely Initiative for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Treatment Strategies

Kari Mau

Rochelle Ringer

surgery, early-stage breast cancer, sentinel lymph node, treatment decision making
CJON 2019, 23(1), 97-98. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.97-98

Breast cancer treatment for women aged 70 years and older can be complicated by existing comorbidities, a shorter lifespan, and a greater risk of side effects from treatments such as chemotherapy. Identifying and continually assessing appropriate breast cancer treatment strategies in older women is important. This article highlights an approach to surgical treatment that demonstrates that age may not be the most important factor in surgical treatment for early-stage breast cancer.


  • Sentinel lymph node surgery is no longer routinely recommended for women aged 70 years or older with early-stage breast cancer.
  • Chronological age alone may not be the sole determinant in the surgical management of patients with breast cancer.
  • Individualization of care is necessary for optimal patient outcomes.
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