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Cancers (Basel). 2015 May 22;7(2):908-29. doi: 10.3390/cancers7020815.

Effects of age on the detection and management of breast cancer.

Author information

1
Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. andrewmcguire@rcsi.ie.
2
Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. james.brown@nuigalway.ie.
3
Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. carmel.malone@nuigalway.ie.
4
Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. ray.mclaughlin@hse.ie.
5
Discipline of Surgery, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. michael.kerin@nuigalway.ie.

Abstract

Currently, breast cancer affects approximately 12% of women worldwide. While the incidence of breast cancer rises with age, a younger age at diagnosis is linked to increased mortality. We discuss age related factors affecting breast cancer diagnosis, management and treatment, exploring key concepts and identifying critical areas requiring further research. We examine age as a factor in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment relating it to factors such as genetic status, breast cancer subtype, hormone factors and nodal status. We examine the effects of age as seen through the adoption of population wide breast cancer screening programs. Assessing the incidence rates of each breast cancer subtype, in the context of age, we examine the observed correlations. We explore how age affects patient's prognosis, exploring the effects of age on stage and subtype incidence. Finally we discuss the future of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, examining the potential of emerging tests and technologies (such as microRNA) and how novel research findings are being translated into clinically relevant practices.

KEYWORDS:

age; breast cancer; miRNA; screening; subtype

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