Objective: The study was carried out to document the occurrence of early onset breast cancer in our populationand to assess prognostic variables.
Methods: Records of a total of 1,644 female patients diagnosed with breastcarcinoma during the last four years (Jan 2005 - Dec 2008) at the Histopathology Department, Armed ForcesInstitute of Pathology (AFIP) were retrieved from the AFIP tumour registry. All cases of breast carcinomadiagnosed in young females, 30 years of age or less, were selected and assessed for the type of specimen, tumourtype, size and grade, presence or absence of lymph node metastasis, number of lymph nodes recovered andnumber of lymph nodes involved. Data were entered into SPSS version 11 to calculate mean, median, mode andstandard deviation for quantitative variables and frequencies and percentages for qualitative variables.
Results:The mean age was 28±2.7 years and the mean tumour size was 3.7±2.9 cm. Most frequent age group was 26-30years (78.6%). The most common histological tumour type was invasive ductal carcinoma (88.7%), followed byinvasive lobular carcinoma (5.4%). Seven out of 168 (4.2%) tumours were less than 2 cm in size, 69(41.1%) werebetween 2-5 cm and 39 (23.2%) were greater than 5 cm. Grade 2 (57.1%), followed by grade 3 (29.8%) were themost frequent. Out of 68 cases in which lymph nodes were included, lymph node metastasis was seen in 55(80.8%).
Conclusion: Breast cancer is much commoner in young women in Pakistan as compared to the rest of the world.It is important to keep this in mind when evaluating even very young females with breast lumps.