Breast Cancer and Age Groups: Clinical characteristics of breast cancers by age group
This post examines breast cancer characteristics by age group, in a 1998 sample.
The statistics here relate to the characteristics of the cancer at the time of first diagnosis. The average tumor size appears to stay about the same, regardless of age group.
This would seem to indicate that women may tend to notice breast cancer only when the a tumor of a certain size is present, underlining the need for regular screenings.
I just want to let you know that this page, and the table below are still great for research material, and I would still use it. However, it is now a little old, so I have decided to create a newer version of this page with more up-to-date information on Clinical Characteristics of Breast Cancer.
Table of Statistics for Breast Cancer and Age
|numbers of cancer||invasive||222||68.1||1,037||77.9||1,131||83||797||83.4||3,187||80.2|
|TNM stages||0 ( in situ)||104||31.9||292||22.1||231||17||159||16.6||788||19.8|
|Tumor size (invasive only)||<or= 5mm||19||8.8||82||8.5||87||8.2||51||6.7||239||8.0|
|median tumor size||14mm||13mm||12mm||12mm||13mm|
|Positive nodes (invasive only)||0||150||75||704||78||762||78.6||520||84.4||2,136||79.5|
Notes on the above table about Breast Cancer and Age
DCIS refers to ‘ductal carcinoma in situ‘. For this condition, cells lining the milk ducts are cancerous, but stay contained within the ducts without growing through into the surrounding breast tissue.
DCIS can affect just one area of the breast, but can be more widespread affecting different areas at the same time. DCIS is sometimes informally referred to as
- intraductal cancer.
The number of women diagnosed with stage III and IV continues to be rather high, in spite of widespread screening programs. Possibly this is because a certain subgroup of the general population do not make use of early detection screening programs, for a variety of mostly socio-economic reasons.
However, women above the age of 45 consistently have a much lower incidence rate of later stage breast cancer at time of first diagnosis. Also, this tends to be the time of greatest compliance to breast cancer screening programs.
There is also some suggestion that the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy beyond a certain age also leads to lower stage tumors at the time of diagnosis.
For further reading, I suggest you visit this page with information on breast cancer incidence and mortality rates in certain countries, and go to this page for a number of breast cancer and DCIS cases that are diagnosed per year, according to age.
- Minister of Public Works and Government Services in Canada, Organized Breast Cancer Screening Programs in Canada,1997-1998, p.21.
- Haque, R., Schottinger, JE., Kanter, MH, Avila, CC., Contreras, R., Gordon, MA. Quinn, VP. Frequency of late-stage breast cancer diagnoses despite high mammography screening rates in an HMO. J Clin Oncol (2009)27:15s, 2009 (suppl; abstr 1526)
- Hahn, KM., Bondy, ML, Selvan, M., Jund, MJ., Liff, JM., Flagg, EW., Brinton, LA., Porter, P., Eley, JW., Coates, RJ. Factors Associated with Advanced Disease Stage at Diagnosis in a Population-based Study of Patients with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer. American Journal of Epidemiology. (2007); 166(9):1035-1044.
- Henson DE, Chu KC, Levine PH. Histologic grade, stage, and survival in breast cancer. Cancer (2003) 98:908-17.
- Arndt, V., Sturmer, T., Stegmaier, C., Ziegler, H., Dhom, G., Brenner, H. Patient delay and stage of diagnosis among breast cancer patients in Germany – a population based study. Br J Cancer. (apr. 2002 ) 86(7): 1034–1040.
- Jemal A, Ward E, Thun MJ.Recent trends in breast cancer incidence rates by age and tumor characteristics among U.S. women.Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(3):R28.