ANCHOR LEAD: OLDER FOLKS MUST BE HEALTHY ENOUGH TO RECEIVE THE BEST TREATMENTS FOR CANCER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Older women should receive the same rather challenging regimen of chemotherapy following surgery for breast cancer in order to insure the best chance for long term survival as their younger counterparts, a recent study concluded. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says what must underpin such a strategy is relatively good health.
PARK: The ability to stay healthy in our elderly years is crucial when we talk about getting adjuvant chemotherapy because it sounds somewhat ironic and I often have to explain this to patients, you actually have to be relatively healthy to get chemotherapy. So in this aging population if we’re really going to try to treat breast cancer and other cancers with the same type of curative intent that we do with younger patients then it really is crucial that elderly patients remain as healthy as possible. :28
Park says staying as healthy as possible means weight control, exercise, consumption of a healthful diet, and regular medical attention. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.