, Volume 282, Issue 4, pp 427-432
Date: 03 Jan 2010

Comparison of early onset breast cancer patients to older premenopausal breast cancer patients

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The objective of this study was to show differences between breast cancer patients ≤35 and >35 years with regard to tumor characteristics and to present the patient-relevant outcomes overall survival (OAS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS).


We analyzed data from 119 women aged 35 years or younger with breast cancer and compared multiple parameters against breast cancer patients between 36 and 55 (n = 1,097), all pre-menopausal. Data were adjusted for tumor characteristics and therapy.


There was no statistically significant difference in tumor size, axillary lymph node involvement, and histological subtypes. On the contrary, grading lymphovascular invasion and receptor negativity showed statistically significant differences. Unadjusted hazard ratio are 2.11 (1.32–3.39) (OAS) and 1.92 (1.35–2.73) (RFS). Multi-adjusted hazard ratio are 2.97 (1.70–5.18) (OAS) and 2.11 (1.42–3.13) (RFS).


In conclusion, young breast cancer patients still have a poor prognosis. Even after adjustment of the data, OAS and RFS showed a worse prognosis. Normal prognostic factors like tumor size, axillary lymph node involvement, and grading can therefore be not the explanation for the more aggressive disease progress within early onset breast cancer patients.

D. Varga and A. Woeckel contributed equally to this work.