What is known?
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among adolescent and young adult
females (ages 15-39) worldwide. Younger age has been identified as an independent predictor of poorer prognosis for breast cancer, even after accounting for tumour characteristics.
What is new?
One of the key findings was that the majority of patients in the study were diagnosed with advanced disease, and that this percentage has increased to over 70% in the latest period. Despite this trend, survival for young breast cancer patients as a whole has significantly improved over recent years. However, those who identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, who were from disadvantaged areas, or diagnosed with advanced stage, experienced significantly worse survival.
What does this mean?
The high proportion of younger patients diagnosed with advanced breast cancer should be the focus of future campaigns, to improve awareness and earlier detection. Further work is required to ensure that improvements in survival are experienced equitably by all patients.
Contact: Danny Youlden
Reference: Youlden DR, Baade PD, Walker R, Pyke CM, Roder DM, Aitken JF. Breast cancer incidence and survival among young females in Queensland, Australia. Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. 2020; 6(3):402-409.