Distinct Postsurgical Management in Young and Elderly Breast Cancer Patients Results in Equal Survival Rates


Background: Although breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common malignant diseases in women, themajority of the studies describing the characteristics of BC in elderly patients have been limited to survivalassessments or tumor features, without using younger BC patients as a reference group. The aim of our studywas to describe and compare tumor characteristics and management patterns in elderly versus younger breastcancer patients in Turkey. Materials and
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 152 patients with invasive breastcancer who underwent surgery in our institution between 2002 and 2012. Patients were divided into 2 groupsaccording to age at the time of diagnosis.
Results: There were 62 patients in the elderly group (≥65 years) and90 patients in the younger group (<65 years). Compared to the younger group, tumors in the elderly group weremore likely to be larger (p=0.018), of lower grade (p=0.005), and hormone receptor-positive (p>0.001). Therewere no significant differences regarding histology, localization, lymph node involvement, or types of surgicalprocedures between the 2 groups. Comorbidities were more common in elderly patients (p<0.001). In addition,elderly patients were more likely to receive hormonal therapy (p<0.001) and less likely to receive radiotherapy(p=0.08) and chemotherapy (p=0.003). There was no difference in survival and locoregional recurrence ratesbetween the groups.
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that breast cancer in elderly patientshas more favorable tumor features, warranting less aggressive treatment regimens after surgery.