Background: The objective of this retrospective study was to identify prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic disparities between younger (≤ 40 years) and older (> 40 years) women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast.
Methods: From 1971 to 2001, all patients treated for DCIS at Institut Bergonié were included in our analyses. Follow-up data was collected over 10 years. We used univariate and multivariate analyses to investigate patient-, disease-, and treatment-related factors predictive of diagnostic, histological, therapeutic, and prognostic DCIS criteria.
Results: A total of 812 patients were eligible including 731 women aged >40 years and 81 women ≤40 years. Younger women with DCIS were more likely to receive a mastectomy and less likely to receive radiotherapy. Young age and initial surgical treatment (lumpectomy and especially nonfree margins) were revealed as predictive of recurrence in multivariate analyses.
Conclusions: Young age represents a recurrence risk independent of histological and clinical characteristics of the tumor. Initial treatment, especially for nonfree margins, is also a predictive factor. Appropriate initial surgery with particularly wide margins appears essential for the treatment of young women with DCIS.