A Population-Based Observational Study of First-Course Treatment and Survival for Adolescent and Young Adult Females with Breast Cancer

J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2013 Sep;2(3):95-103. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2013.0004.


Purpose: Young age at breast cancer diagnosis is associated with poor survival. However, little is known about factors associated with first-course treatment receipt or survival among adolescent and young adult (AYA) females aged 15-39 years.

Methods: Data regarding 19,906 eligible AYA breast cancers diagnosed in California during 1992-2009 were obtained from the population-based California Cancer Registry. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate clinical and sociodemographic differences in treatment receipt. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to examine differences in survival by initial treatment, and by patient and tumor characteristics.

Results: Black and Hispanic AYAs diagnosed with in situ or stages I-III breast cancer were more likely than White AYAs to receive breast-conserving surgery (BCS) without radiation; Asian and Hispanic AYAs were more likely than Whites to receive mastectomy. Women in lower socioeconomic status (SES) neighborhoods were more likely to omit radiation after BCS, more likely to receive mastectomy, and less likely to receive chemotherapy, compared to those in higher SES neighborhoods. Among patients with invasive disease, survival improved an average of 5% per year during 1992-2009. AYAs who received BCS with radiation experienced better survival than other surgery/radiation options. Black AYAs had poorer survival than Whites. AYAs who resided in higher SES neighborhoods had better survival.

Conclusions: Treatment receipt among AYAs with breast cancer varied by race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES. Poor survival for Black AYAs and AYAs living in low SES neighborhoods in models adjusted for treatment receipt suggests that factors other than treatment may also be important to disease outcome.

Keywords: breast cancer; race/ethnicity; socioeconomic status; survival; treatment.