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The diagnosis of cancer is devastating to elderly cancer patients and their family. Most often, elderly cancer patient are discriminated because of the perception that they may not tolerate the treatment. Elderly cancer patients are often denied curative treatment and excluded from clinical trials. Yet, the myth of poor tolerance to treatment is not supported by clinical data. Radiotherapy is often recommended for elderly cancer patients. However, because of the fear treatment toxicity, a palliative course is often preferred even when cure is possible. New radiotherapy treatment techniques such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) deliver radiotherapy with precision, allowing cure without added toxicity because of the sparing of normal organs from excessive radiation. We believe that IMRT and IGRT will provide the breakthrough for better quality of life in elderly cancer patients and dispel the myth of poor tolerance to curative treatment.

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