In the last decades there has been an increased interest in the treatment of elderly cancer patients and a change in attitude of both clinicians and their patients has occurred. Drugs are now available that might be considered "elderly-friendly" and the enormous advances in surgical procedures and supportive treatments over the recent years have enabled adverse effects to be minimized. A Geriatric Assessment is increasingly used as a tool to define those patients who are more suitable for aggressive chemotherapy or, on the contrary, palliative treatment. For almost all cancers, older patients are better treated today than they were in the past, even though we are still far from optimal management. Despite the perceived barriers to including elderly patients in clinical trials, there are few data to support excluding them. We must not permit increased age in cancer patients to continue to be an important and independent risk factor for receiving inadequate care.
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