Analysis of the effect of age on the prognosis of breast cancer.

Cancer Registry of Isère, Meylan, France.
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Impact Factor: 4.2). 11/2008; 117(1):121-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10549-008-0222-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To explore the effect of age at diagnosis on relative survival from breast cancer at different cancer stages and grades, using appropriate statistical modeling of time-varying and non-linear effects of that prognostic covariate. Data on 4,791 female invasive breast cancers diagnosed between 1990 and 1997 were obtained from a French cancer registry. The effect of age on relative survival was studied using an approach based on excess rate modeling. Different models testing non-linear and non-proportional effects of age were explored for each grade and each stage. In the whole population, the effect of age was not linear and varied with the time elapsed since diagnosis. When analyzing the different sub-groups according to grade and stage, age did not have a significant effect on relative survival in grade 1 or stage 3 tumors. In grade 2 and stage 4 tumors, the excess mortality rate increased with age, in a linear way. In grade 3 tumors, age was a time-dependent factor: older women had higher excess rates than younger ones during the first year after diagnosis whereas the inverse phenomenon was observed 5 years after diagnosis. Our findings suggest that when taking into account grade and stage, the time-varying impact of young age at diagnosis is limited to grade 3 tumors, without evidence of worst prognosis at 5 years for the youngest women.

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