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The purpose of this perspective study was to evaluate which prognostic factors predict long-term survival and disease-free survival (DFS) of elderly patients ( 65 years) who underwent surgery for colorectal carcinoma. Between January 1992 and December 1998, 196 colorectal cancer patients 65 years (114M; 82F; mean age: 75 years; range: 65-92) underwent surgery. One hundred forty-five (74%) of them underwent curative surgery and emergency surgery was more common in patients 75 years of age than among those younger than 75 years (39% vs 23%; p = 0.01). The overall peroperative mortality rate was 3% (n = 6). The median length of hospital stay was 18 days (range: 3-86 days). By univariate analysis, intraoperative bleeding ( 500 cc; p = 0.002), length of surger y ( 240 min.; p = 0.004), and rectal cancer (p = 0.0001) were associated with complications. By multivariate analysis, only rectal cancer (p = 0.002) was associated with complications. The overall 1, 3-, and 5-year survival rate and DFS rate were 97%, 82%, 74%, and 86%, 64% and 60% respectively. Using multivariate analysis only tumour stage (p < 0.0001) and peroperative blood transfusions ( 500 cc; p = 0.006) w ere associated with outcome. Treatment decisions in elderly patients with colorectal carcinoma should not be influenced by the chronologic age of the patient.