With the ongoing increase in the aging population in Japan, the number of elderly patients among the total population with upper gastrointestinal (GI) neoplasia has also been increasing. As elderly patients present unique age-related variations in their physical condition, the therapeutic approach for upper GI neoplasia should be differentiated between elderly and nonelderly patients. According to the existing guidelines, additional treatment is the standard therapy in patients who undergo endoscopic resection (ER) with a possible risk of lymph node metastasis (LNM) for upper GI neoplasia. However, due to the relatively low rate of LNM, applying additional treatment in all elderly patients may be excessive. Although additional treatment has the advantage of reducing cancer-specific mortality, its disadvantages include deteriorated quality of life, complications, and mortality in surgery. In patients with early gastric cancer, we propose treatment decisions be made using a risk-scoring system for LNM and upon considering the physical condition of the patient after ER with curability C-2. In those with superficial esophageal squamous cell carcinoma with a possible risk of LNM after ER, selective chemoradiotherapy may be a less-invasive treatment option, although the present standard treatment is esophagectomy. When considering the treatment decision, achieving a “cure” of the tumor has been regarded as critical. However, as the main cause of mortality in elderly patients with ER for upper GI neoplasia is noncancer-related death, both achieving a “cure” and also a good level of “care” is important in the management of elderly patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging