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Cancer J Sci Am. 1998 Sep-Oct;4(5):308-15.

An analysis of age and family history on outcome after breast-conservation treatment: the University of Pennsylvania experience.

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1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The present study reports the effects of patient age and family history on outcome after breast-conservation treatment. In addition, the interaction of age and family history is examined to determine outcome for younger patients with a positive family history of breast cancer (i.e., at a higher risk of having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene) after breast-conservation treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

From 1977 to 1992, 1021 women underwent breast-conservation treatment for American Joint Committee on Cancer stage I and II breast cancer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In all patients, breast-conservation treatment included complete gross excision of the primary tumor and axillary lymph node dissection, followed by definitive breast irradiation. When indicated, radiation to the regional lymphatics, adjuvant chemotherapy, and/or adjuvant hormones were given. Patients were divided for analysis into three age groups (< or = 40 years, 41 to 50 years, and > or = 51 years) as well as three family history groups (first-degree relative positive for breast cancer, other family history positive for breast cancer, and negative family history for breast cancer). Median follow-up after treatment was 6.1 years.

RESULTS:

The 10-year actuarial overall survival rates were 74% for women aged < or = 40 years, 82% for women aged 41 to 50 years, and 82% for women aged > or = 51 years (P = 0.12). For the younger women, aged < or = 40 years, there was a higher 10-year rate of deaths from breast cancer (P = 0.007) but a lower rate of deaths from other causes (P = 0.08) than in the older two age groups. The younger women had a higher rate of local failure at 10 years compared with the two older age groups (22%, 18%, and 12%, respectively), but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.10). No significant differences were found between the three family history groups (first-degree relative positive for breast cancer, other family history positive for breast cancer, and negative family history for breast cancer) for survival, freedom from distant metastases, or local failure (all P > or = 0.25). For younger women, aged < or = 40 years, the 5-year outcomes for survival, freedom from distant metastases, and local failure were not different according to family history status (all P > or = 0.18). Similarly, the 5-year outcomes were not different according to family history status for women aged 41 to 50 years (all P > or = 0.46) and for women aged > or = 51 years (all P > or = 0.54).

DISCUSSION:

The present study has confirmed that breast-conservation treatment is suitable for appropriately selected younger patients or patients with a positive family history of breast cancer. Further, a positive family history of breast cancer in younger women does not represent a contraindication to breast-conservation treatment. In summary, younger age, positive family history of breast cancer, or younger age plus a positive family history of breast cancer should not preclude the use of breast-conservation treatment for appropriately selected patients.

PMID:
9815295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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