Studies on cancer survival have revealed disparities not only between the elderly and their younger counterparts, but also among the elderly themselves. The aim of this work was to identify sociodemographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and care-related determinants of survival or mortality in older patients with cancer by a systematic synthesis of the literature. Understanding these factors is of great value for guiding health policies and programs aimed at reducing cancer survival disparities. We conducted a search of MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases under PRISMA guidelines. Results were limited to articles published in English and French from 2005 to 2015, and focused on elderly patients with cancer. The article selection was performed in a stepwise fashion: title, abstract, and full-text selection. Studied determinants and results of each article were synthesized. Forty-five articles were eligible and included in the study. We observed different ways of measuring socioeconomic status, comorbidities, and treatment among studies. Cancer-specific and overall survival were the main studied outcomes. Advanced age, low income, low socioeconomic status, presence of comorbidities, advanced stage, and poor tumor grade were found to be associated with lower survival or higher mortality. On the other hand, female gender and being married were predictive of increased survival or lower mortality. The next logical step is to carry out studies on elderly patients from different countries and to incorporate pertinent factors in a unique model. Moreover, specific geriatric health impairments should be taken into account in further research because of their association with survival.
- Socioeconomic factors
- Systematic review