Patients at young age (≤35 years) diagnosed with breast cancer (BC) are considered to have poor prognosis. The aim of the present study was to retrospectively analyse clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis in a group of young BC patients. We included women diagnosed with invasive breast carcinoma younger than/or at the age of 35 years. Between 1999 and 2009, 107 women with early-onset BC were selected from the database of the 2nd Department of Pathology at Semmelweis University. For clinicopathological comparison, 55 women (36-45 years), 214 women (46-65 years), 110 women (66-75 years) and 58 women (76≤ years) were also included in the analysis. Family history, clinicopathological and follow-up data were analysed. The tissue specimens were reviewed for histological type, nuclear grade, and estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), Ki67 and HER2 status (IHC4). The mean age in the study group was 31.6 years at the time of diagnosis. Histology showed a high incidence of grade III tumours in this group of patients (67.9 %), while only four cases (3.8 %) were considered grade I. According to the immunohistochemical results, 35.3 % of the study cases were considered as Luminal B (LumB: either being higly proliferative or co-expressing HER2) and 33.3 % as triple negative breast carcinomas (TNBC). The detailed questionnaire related to family history was completed and received in 49/107 cases (45.8 %). Analysis of these data revealed an affected family history of breast or ovarian carcinoma in first and second degree relatives in 51.0 %. A high proportion (52.0 %) of TNBC was observed among young women with a family history of the disease. Survival analysis of the 107 patients showed that 25 (23.3 %) women died until 31 December 2012. No significant difference in survival was detectable considering the regimen of systemic treatment (p = 0.188). Regarding clinicopathological parameters, the immunophenotypes, grade, pT and pN values differred substantially between the age groups (p = 0.001, for all), and the shortest relapse-free survival was seen among the youngest BC patients. This analysis illustrates that breast cancer arising in young women is characterized by the presence of less favorable subtypes such as LumB and TNBC. The increased proportion of TNBC was especially remarquable in the group of patients presenting with family history of the disease. The fact that a high rate of death occured and no significant difference in OS were notable regarding the scheme of systemic therapies (neoadjuvant vs. adjuvant) highlight the necessity of the development of new treatment strategies.
- Breast cancer
- Family history
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cancer Research