Female patients with breast carcinoma age 30 years and younger have a poor prognosis: the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center experience

Cancer. 2001 Nov 15;92(10):2523-8. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(20011115)92:10<2523::aid-cncr1603>3.0.co;2-6.


Background: The objective of this study was to analyze the outcome of treatment in young women with breast carcinoma who were treated at a single institution and to develop a clearer understanding of the natural history of the disease in these women.

Methods: One hundred eighty-five women age < or = 30 years in whom a diagnosis of invasive breast carcinoma was made between October 1985 and September 1995 were identified in the Tumor Registry data base. Patient data were obtained by chart review. All female patients with breast carcinoma who were age > 30 years and who were identified in the same data base and received treatment during the same period served as the control population. The stage-stratified overall survival (OS) rate for the study patients was compared with the OS rate for both the control population and patients in the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB).

Results: Of 185 patients, 11% presented with Stage I disease, 45% presented with Stage II disease, 38% presented with Stage III disease, and 6% presented with Stage IV disease. Twenty-nine percent of patients with Stage I disease received adjuvant therapy, and 84% of patients with Stage II disease and 96% of patients with Stage III disease received either adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Among patients with Stage I disease, 8 patients underwent mastectomy and 13 patients underwent breast-conserving surgery (BCS). Among patients with Stage II disease, 66 patients underwent mastectomy and 17 patients underwent BCS. Among patients with Stage III disease, 65 patients underwent mastectomy and 5 patients underwent BCS. The 5-year OS rate was 87% for patients with Stage I disease, 60% for patients with Stage II disease, 42% for patients with Stage III disease, and 16% for patients with Stage IV disease. Compared with the control patients and those in the NCDB, there was a trend toward worse OS rates in women age < or = 30 years.

Conclusions: Women who are diagnosed with breast carcinoma at an age < or = 30 years appear to have a poorer prognosis compared with that for their older counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastectomy
  • Mastectomy, Segmental
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome