Background and Objectives: The poorer outcome amongst younger breast cancer patients continues to be an issue of debate. In order to clarify the prognostic value of patient age, we retrospectively analyzed the data of 1098 breast cancer patients. Methods: Patients were divided into two groups based on the age 35 (Group I, women aged 35 or younger, and Group II, women aged over 35). Clinico-pathological parameters, 10-year loco-regional recurrence-free (10LRRFS), distant relapse-free (10DRFS), and overall (10OS) survival estimates were determined. Results: Among the 1098 patients, approximately 16.7% (183) were allocated to Group I and the other 83.3% (915) to Group II. There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of histopathologic features or mean follow-up. Group I had a poorer 10LRRFS of 86.8% (P=0.036), 10DRFS of 57.7% (P<0.0001), and 10OS of 68.3% (P=0.0001), compared with 93.9, 76.2, and 81.4% for Group II, respectively. Group I also showed a poorer 10DRFS when matched for stage and lymph node status as well. With lymph node status and tumor size, a patient age of younger than 35 was determined to be an independent prognostic factor by multivariate analysis. Conclusions: These results indicate that patient age (younger than 35) shows an independent prognostic value and that survival differences by age may reflect differences in the tumor biology.
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