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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2009 Sep;71(3):258-65. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 Jan 17.

Breast cancer in Chinese elderly women: pathological and clinical characteristics and factors influencing treatment patterns.

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Department of Breast Surgery, Cancer Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, PR China.


The aims of this study are to describe tumor characteristics and treatment patterns of elder breast cancer patients and to determine the factors influencing local and systemic treatments. This retrospective cohort included 866 patients (>or=60 years) referred for surgery between January 2002 and December 2006. The patients were divided into four groups according to age. Elderly women had larger tumors at diagnosis with more mucinous carcinomas, more estrogen/progesterone-positive, lower Ki-67 labeling indices and less c-erbB2 positive tumors. Comorbidities were more often recorded for older patients. They were more likely to undergo simple mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery, less likely to receive adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy, compared with their younger counterparts. Multinomial and binary logistic regression showed that age was independently associated with local and systemic treatments. Our data suggest that the tumors of elderly patients are biologically more favorable, and elderly women appear to receive less aggressive treatments.

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