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Breast Cancer in Women Aged 25 Years and Younger

Dimitrakakis, Constantine MD, PhD; Tsigginou, Alexandra MD, PhD; Zagouri, Flora MD, PhD; Marinopoulos, Spyros MD, PhD; Sergentanis, Theodoros N. MD, PhD; Keramopoulos, Antonis MD, PhD; Liakou, Paraskevi MD, PhD; Zografos, George C. MD, PhD; Papadimitriou, Christos A. MD, PhD; Dimopoulos, Meletios-Athanassios MD, PhD; Antsaklis, Aris MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e318291ef9a
Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate breast cancer characteristics in women aged 25 years and younger.

METHODS: This was a retrospective, nested, within-cases matched study. The study design was based on a two-phase protocol. In the first phase, stage, grade, histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status were compared between 28 patients (aged 25 years and younger) and 685 older premenopausal women (aged older than 25 years) with breast cancer. The second phase aimed to determine whether young patients exhibited worse prognosis when compared with older premenopausal women.

RESULTS: Young patients presented at a more advanced stage (P=.012) and exhibited a higher grade (P=.018). No significant differences were noted regarding histologic subtype, estrogen receptor, and progesterone receptor status. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations was performed in 12 of 28 young patients and mutations were found in 25% of them. Moreover, young women presented poorer overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] 4.30, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09–17.03) than their older counterparts, matched by histologic subtype, stage, and grade; a similar pattern was noted regarding relapse-free survival (HR 8.28, 95% CI 2.24–30.60).

CONCLUSION: Breast cancer diagnosis in women aged 25 years and younger is uncommon; however, these patients present at a more advanced stage, with a higher grade, and exhibit poorer survival.


A breast cancer diagnosis in women aged 25 years and younger is uncommon. These patients present at a more advanced stage, with higher grade, and exhibit poor survival.

Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, and the 1st Propaedeutic Surgical Department, Hippocrateio Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.

Corresponding author: Flora Zagouri, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, University of Athens, Vas Sofias Ave and Lourou Str, Athens 11521, Greece; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.