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Abstract

As the population of the United States ages, women over the age of 65 have become a prominent cohort in the breast cancer population, with approximately 50% of all new breast cancers occurring in women aged 65 years and older. Early studies in breast cancer often excluded women based on age or comorbidity, leaving physicians and patients with a growing number of diagnostic and treatment options, each of which often carry short-term morbidity risks for potential long-term gain. We review the current data available for diagnosis and treatment of elderly women with breast cancer in both the adjuvant and metastatic disease setting. In addition, the role of screening and new concepts in prevention are discussed with emphasis on the older patient.