Is age at diagnosis an independent prognostic factor for survival following breast cancer?

Jayasinghe, Upali W., Taylor, Richard and Boyages, John (2005) Is age at diagnosis an independent prognostic factor for survival following breast cancer?. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, 75 9: 762-767. doi:10.1111/j.1445-2197.2005.03515.x

Author Jayasinghe, Upali W.
Taylor, Richard
Boyages, John
Title Is age at diagnosis an independent prognostic factor for survival following breast cancer?
Journal name The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-1433
Publication date 2005-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2005.03515.x
Volume 75
Issue 9
Start page 762
End page 767
Total pages 6
Editor R.J.S. Thomas
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
321299 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
730108 Cancer and related disorders
Formatted abstract
Previous studies of patients with breast cancer have examined age at diagnosis as a prognostic factor for survival with contradictory results. The current study examines the effect of age in conjunction with pathological tumour size, lymph node status and histological grade to clarify whether age at diagnosis is an independent factor for overall survival.

This is a population-based study that examines the survival of 393 women with a first diagnosis of breast cancer in 1992 in the Greater Western region of Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. Survival analysis was conducted using the Kaplan-Meier method. Relative risks associated with age at diagnosis, pathological tumour size, and number of positive lymph nodes and histological grade and adjusted for each other were computed using Cox proportional hazard regression. Patients' ages were categorized as 'younger' (< 40 years of age at diagnosis), 'middle-aged' (40-69 years) or 'older age' (> 69 years).

The 10-year survival of women < 40 years was 49%, which was significantly lower than 'middle-aged' women (73%). For women with node-negative breast cancer, younger women had a significantly (P = 0.011) poorer survival rate (68%) than middle-aged (90%) or older women (80%). After adjusting for the effects of the pathological tumour size, the lymph node status and histological grade, women < 40 years showed a higher risk of dying than older women. However, young women detected with a small (< 20 mm) node-negative tumour have a good prognosis.


Age at diagnosis, tumour size and lymph node status were independent prognostic indicators for survival. Age at diagnosis should be considered as an important factor in making decisions about adjuvant therapy, irrespective of nodal status.
Keyword Age At Diagnosis
Breast Cancer Survival
Histological Grade
Lymph Nodes
Pathological Tumour Size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 39 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 46 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:57:54 EST