Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Coll Surg. 1998 Jul;187(1):1-8.

Women 35 years of age or younger have higher locoregional relapse rates after undergoing breast conservation therapy.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



The use of breast conservation therapy (BCT) in young women with invasive breast cancer is controversial. To examine this important issue, rates of locoregional recurrence and overall survival after BCT were compared in two subsets of women--those < or = 35 years of age at time of surgery and their older counterparts.


We examined records of 290 women with invasive breast cancer treated with BCT (local excision and axillary dissection) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center between 1984 and 1993. These included 87 patients < or = 35 years of age at time of surgery and 203 randomly selected patients > 35 years of age. Followup was obtained from physician charts or patient interviews, or both. Complete data on clinicopathologic factors, recurrence, and survival were available on 280 patients.


Median followup from time of operation was 8.0 years for the entire group. Mean tumor size was 2.0 cm for women < or = 35 years and 1.8 cm for those > 35 (p = 0.07). Involved nodes were found in 48% of the young patients and 36% of the older patients (p = 0.08). Within our study group (n = 280), 274 patients received radiotherapy. Women < or = 35 years of age had significantly higher rates of locoregional recurrence and lower rates of overall survival than their older counterparts (p < 0.05). On multivariate analysis, these results were independent of tumor size and nodal status. A history of locoregional relapse, however, was not associated with a higher rate of death from disease in the entire cohort or in either age group.


Patients < or = 35 years of age undergoing BCT for invasive breast cancer are at higher risk for locoregional recurrence and death from disease. The higher mortality rate, however, does not appear to be a direct result of locoregional relapse. Additional study is required to verify these findings. Currently, young age does not exclude patients from BCT in our practice. But, we include this data as part of the informed consent process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center