More Good News
This is more good news for younger women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. As the entry a few days ago suggested, lumpectomy/radiation has been found to be equally safe and helpful as larger surgery for women under 40 (as well as for those over 40). This is a report on a cohort study that lays to rest the old myth that younger women develop more aggressive breast cancers and have a worse prognosis. It's just not so
Younger age as a prognostic indicator in breast
cancer: A cohort study
Elrasheid A.H. Kheirelseid , Jennifer M.E. Boggs , Catherine Curran , Ronan W Glynn , Carra Dooley , Karl J Sweeney and Michael J Kerin
BMC Cancer 2011, 11:383 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-383 Published: 28 August 2011
The debate continues as to whether younger women who present with breast cancer have a more aggressive form of disease and a worse prognosis. The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of breast cancer in women under 40 years old and to analyse the clinicopathological characteristics and outcome compared to an older patient cohort.
Data was acquired from a review of charts and the prospectively reviewed GUH Department of Surgery database. Included in the study were 276 women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of forty and 2869 women over forty. For survival analysis each women less than 40 was matched with two women over forty for both disease stage and grade.
The proportion of women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of forty in our cohort was 8.8%. In comparison to their older counterparts, those under forty had a higher tumour grade (p=0.044) and stage (p=0.046), a lower incidence of lobular tumours (p<0.001), higher estrogen receptor negativity (p<0.001) and higher HER2 over-expression (p=0.002); there was no statistical difference as regards tumour size (p=0.477). There was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) for both groups; and factors like tumour size (p=0.026), invasion (p=0.026) and histological type (p=0.027), PR (p=0.031) and HER2 (p=0.002) status and treatment received were independent predictors of OS
Breast cancer in younger women has distinct histopathological characteristics; however, this does not result in a reduced survival in this population