An age of 40 years or less at the time of breast cancer diagnosis appears to increase the risk of breast cancer death among women with luminal tumors, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Young women are at an increased risk for developing more aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, though the impact of tumor subtype on outcomes remains unclear.

Researchers analyzed data from 17,575 women with stage I to III breast cancer who presented to 1 of 8 National Comprehensive Cancer Network centers between January 2000 and December 2007. Of those, 1916 were aged 40 years or less at the time of diagnosis.

At a median follow-up of 6.4 years, women aged 40 years or less at diagnosis had a higher risk of breast cancer mortality after adjusting for sociodemographic, disease, and treatment characteristics (hazard ratio [HR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.7).

It was found that an age of 40 years or less was associated with significant increases in risk of breast cancer mortality among women with luminal A (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.4-3.2) and luminal B (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.9) tumors. There was also a borderline significant association among women with triple-negative tumors (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0-1.8).

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There was no association between age and risk of breast cancer death among women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 subtypes (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.8-1.9).

An additional model controlling for detection method also demonstrated that young age was associated with increased risk of breast cancer mortality, though only among women with luminal A breast cancers.                 

Reference

  1. Partridge AH, Hughes ME, Warner ET, et al. Subtype-dependent relationship between young age at diagnosis and breast cancer survival. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Aug 1. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.65.8013 [Epub ahead of print]