Women who were under 40 and diagnosed with breast cancer were previously thought to have a worse outcome than older women who were diagnosed. But, a new study appears to show that this is not the case. According to a recent online article a published study reviewed information that was gathered over 20 year time span from 2869 women and one hospitals breast cancer database. The women consented to having their data included in the study. The participants were all Caucasian because of the makeup of the hospitals population.
Breast Cancer Study Shows Promise
Statistics were used to analyzed age, the size of the tumor, stage of the breast cancer, lymph node involvement and the metastasis, whether or not there were any hormone receptor status and therapies, when they were available, were also documented. Of the population there were 276 women under the age of 40 in the database. This translates to 8.8% of the total hospital population with breast cancer. To study the existing data as it relates to survival, the younger women were matched with to older women over 40 whose disease stage, and grade was similar to the younger woman’s. The researchers found that the younger women in this study were more likely than older women to have breast cancer traits that are considered to be more aggressive. The markers included higher grade and later stage breast cancer diagnosis as well as being estrogen receptor negative and HER2+ . The majority of women in both groups had PR+ cancers. Between the groups there was no significant statistical difference in tumor size. Although the findings were similar to what other studies have found what is significant is that this study did not show any difference in the survival rates of women who were diagnosed prior to the age of 40. This is encouraging news (although it is a small study) for breast cancer survivors.
Breast Cancer, Best Defense Is Screening
For those women unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with breast cancer this study gives them yet another reason not to give up hope . Dr Seify encourages his patients who are breast surgery patients to be proactive about their health. Regardless of their age women should at the very minimum be performing their own breast self exam. Dr. Seify explains to his patients that having breast augmentation with implants ,breast reduction, or breast lift are procedures that disturb the breast tissue and patients need to care for their breast as they would had they not had surgery. It is important for patients to understand that breast self-exam on a monthly basis as well as screening mammograms when indicated by the primary care physician, should be taken seriously and breast health should be a priority.