The improvement of the socio-economic conditions and the progress of medicine have extended the life span of the world's population and as a result, the number of patients with malignant neoplasms has increased. Gastric cancer is the third most common cancer (after lung and prostate) and the second leading cause of death caused by cancer (after lung bronchogenic cell carcinoma) in males; while it’s the fifth cancer by frequency and the fourth cause of cancer death in females. It presents a peculiar geographical distribution with a lower incidence in Western Europe and North America, and higher incidence in the Far East, South America and Eastern Europe. Its incidence in Italy is 122 cases per 100000 inhabitants in males and 83 cases per 100000 inhabitants in females (in Italy). It occurs more frequently in old age, is quite rare in individuals under the age of 45. The aim of this work is to analyze the clinical and pathological characteristics of gastric carcinoma and the feasibility of curative surgery in patients over 75, identifying the factors affecting mortality, morbidity, survival and quality of life after surgery. These data have been compared with those of younger patients to assess the correct type of surgery.
KEY WORDS: Gastric cancer - Curative surgery - Elderly patients - Younger patients.