A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery. The analysis included 1331 patients younger than 40 years treated with breast conserving surgery and whole breast radiotherapy in a single cancer centre in Italy between 1997 and 2010.
Breast cancer recurrences and deaths significantly decreased over time. A dramatic improvement in prognosis was observed after 2005, when the use of several new diagnostic and treatment strategies were implemented in routine clinical practice.
"Prognosis of young women undergoing conservative treatment is constantly improving year by year. These data might be helpful to reduce the number of unnecessary mastectomies in young women, which is still too high," said Dr. Oreste Gentilini, senior author of the British Journal of Surgery study. "Young age is an unfavorable prognostic factor, but this should not be per se a reason to recommend mastectomy when a conservative procedure might be performed."