411P - Ageing of skin cancer patients: a single-institution survey in Japan

Date 18 December 2016
Event ESMO Asia 2016 Congress
Session Poster lunch
Topics Geriatric Oncology
Skin Cancers
Presenter Akari Sakai
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (suppl_9): ix126-ix129. 10.1093/annonc/mdw589
Authors A. Sakai, K. Kagoyama, S. Takatsuka, T. Takenouchi
  • Dermatology, Niigata Cancer Center Hospital, 951-8566 - Niigata/JP



Japan has the largest ageing population in the world. Incidence of skin cancer increases as the population ages. Because therapeutic decision making for elderly patients is often complicated, the ageing of skin cancer patients is a serious issue for dermatologists.


The present study included 4,094 patients diagnosed with skin cancer at the Niigata Cancer Center Hospital between 1989 and 2015. The age distribution per year and the disease were analysed. For patients ≥90 years of age, the prognosis was retrospectively investigated and the survival analysis was performed.


From 1989 to 2015, the median age of skin cancer patients rose from 67 to 79 years. Approximately 50% of the patients were ≥80 years of age in 2015. Patients with squamous cell carcinoma demonstrated the highest median age of 81 years. Among 167 skin cancer patients ≥90 years of age who were diagnosed by 2010, six died of their primary skin cancer, whereas 107 died of unrelated causes, including senile decay. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that the median overall survival for 167 patients was 4.1 years. The 2- and 5-year overall survival rates were 72.6% and 42.7%, respectively.


Patients with skin cancer are ageing at a significant rate. Elderly patients with skin cancer may not survive long enough to benefit from aggressive treatment. Although limited life expectancy should not be the only reason for choosing conservative treatment, it can negatively impact a patient’s quality of life by causing cosmetic or functional distress. In therapeutic decision making for elderly patients, we need to consider the risk–benefit balance in each patient.

Clinical trial indentification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Niigata Cancer Center Hospital


Niigata Cancer Center Hospital


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.