Recent research has suggested that elderly breast cancer patients are less likely to receive surgery than their younger counterparts.
Presented at the National Cancer Intelligence Network conference, the research found that just 50 per cent of women in their eighties received surgery.
This compares to 70 per cent of people over 70 and 85 per cent of those aged between 65 and 70.
Records of more than 23,000 women with breast cancer in England were monitored between 1997 and 2005.
Dr Katrina Lavelle, lead author of the report from the University of Manchester, commented: "Surgery to remove breast tumours is one of the most effective ways to treat this cancer so it's important to get a better understanding of what lies behind these differences."
She added that the research also suggests that the presence of other illnesses cannot "fully explain the difference in treatment between older and younger patients".
The report did discover that an increasing number of women aged over 65 were being given surgical treatment for breast cancer in more recent years.