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Should young age be a contra-indication to breast conservation treatment in Chinese women? Twelve-year experience from a public cancer centre in Hong Kong

Should young age be a contra-indication to breast conservation treatment in Chinese women? Twelve-year experience from a public cancer centre in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Medical Journal 15(2): 94-99

It has been proposed that young women should not be treated by breast conservation treatment because of a higher risk of local recurrences and worse survival. We therefore examined whether breast conservation treatment in young Chinese women yielded inferior clinical outcomes compared to modified radical mastectomy. Retrospective study. Clinical oncology department in a public hospital in Hong Kong. A total of 258 Chinese women with invasive breast cancer, aged below 40 years, and referred between January 1994 and July 2006. A total of 124 (48%) and 134 (52%) patients were treated by breast conservation treatment and modified radical mastectomy, respectively. Mastectomy patients tended to have larger primary tumours (P<0.001) and more nodal involvement (P<0.001). At a median follow-up of 6.5 years, there was no significant difference in the local failure-free survival rate (92% vs 93%, P=0.324) and loco-regional failure-free survival rate (89% vs 88%, P=0.721) in patients having breast conservation treatment and mastectomy. Probably due to their earlier presentation with disease, the former actually had better 6-year distant failure-free survival (88% vs 71%, P=0.002) and overall survival (92% vs 81%, P=0.173) rates. Multivariate analyses showed that both the resection margin status (hazard ratio=2.77, P=0.050) and the presence of peritumoural vascular invasion (hazard ratio=3.01, P=0.038) were independent predictors of local recurrence; the nodal status (hazard ratio=3.91, P<0.001) was the only predictive factor for overall survival. The choice of breast conservation treatment (vs modified radical mastectomy) had no apparent adverse impact on all the clinical outcome parameters analysed. Breast conservation treatment is a reasonable option for many suitably selected young Chinese women.

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Accession: 055766292

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PMID: 19342734

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