Trends in Breast Cancer at a County Hospital

Hoehne, Francesca M.; Taylor, Edward
February 2005
American Surgeon;Feb2005, Vol. 71 Issue 2, p159
Academic Journal
Breast cancer mortality has changed dramatically with improvements in screening techniques. Mammography is essential for early detection; however, its contribution to the survival benefit in young women is questionable. We report our experience in breast biopsies at a county teaching hospital with a traditionally younger patient population. Institutional review board approval was obtained prior to data collection. A total of 550 breast biopsies were conducted between 1995 and 2000. Data regarding age, method of breast biopsy, and pathology was reviewed. One hundred twenty of 550 patients (21.8%) had breast carcinoma detected on breast biopsies with the predominant histologic subtype being invasive ductal carcinoma. The mean age of patients with carcinoma was 52.8 years, whereas that of patients with benign breast disease was 43.6 years (P < 0.05). Forty-three per cent of all breast cancers occurred in women under the age of 50 years. During the study period, there was neither an increase in the number of breast biopsies performed per year nor a decrease in the average age of women with breast cancer. However, observing a significant percentage of breast cancer patients under 50 years old, our data suggest the importance of strict adherence to current screening recommendations including self-breast examination and yearly mammography.


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