A cross-sectional study of elderly Asian and European women with primary operable breast cancer aged 70 and older. Are there differences?

Maturitas. 2012 Nov;73(3):251-4. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Aug 27.


Background: Breast cancer (BC) is becoming a disease of the elderly. Additionally, BC-incidence is rising in Asia. The aim of this study was to explore clinico-pathological characteristics and differences of breast cancer in elderly Asian/Han-Chinese compared to Caucasian/Austrian women.

Methods: A total number of 630 consecutive primary operable, unilateral breast cancer cases, 70 years and older, were analyzed. Histo-pathological findings and biological characteristics of 198 Caucasian/Austrian were compared with 432 Asian/Han-Chinese. Pearson's chi-square test was used to assess differences in the analyzed populations.

Results: A significantly higher rate of triple-negative BC (p=0.027) was diagnosed among the Chinese geriatric population. More estrogen-receptor positive BC was detected in the Caucasian study group (p<0.001). No statistically significant differences were detected based on tumor size, axillary lymph-node status, nor HER2-receptor expression.

Conclusion: This study will help us gain additional ethnic-specific insight into the biological characteristics of breast cancer in the elderly Caucasian/Austrian and Asian/Han-Chinese populations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Austria
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptor, ErbB-2