A 30 year old woman diagnosed with breast cancer has the same chance of survival as a 60 year old woman with breast cancer according to the latest findings presented today at the European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-5).
Scientists have known for a while that young women with breast cancer have a poor prognosis. It was thought to be because younger women were diagnosed later, with more advanced disease. The study set out to see if youth on its own was a factor for poor prognosis.
Researchers analysed the American SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) database of over 45,000 women with breast cancer. All women with early stage breast cancer (stage 1) were included in the study and the various age groups were compared. The results were surprising and indicated that being young was an independent indicator of poor survival - regardless of other factors known to be predictive of outcomes in older women such as tumour size, location, hormone receptor status, race, or treatment.
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