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Volume 20, Number 1, 2015

Are breast cancer patients treated with radiotherapy younger now than ten years ago?

Marta Bonet, Pere Godoy, Maria Jose Cambra, Encarna Mur, Manel Algara, Luis Fernandez, Elsa Dalmau, Àngels Arcusa, Miquel Àngel Seguí, Eugeni Saigí, Sònia Gonzalez, Lluís Cirera, Josep Maria Solé



The aim of the present study was to analyze the age of breast cancer patients managed with curative approach at the time of treatment with radiotherapy.


Breast cancer is the most frequent neoplasm in women. Little is known with regard to the age of patients at diagnosis, and some authors have suggested that breast cancer is now affecting women who are younger than before.

Materials and methods

We performed a descriptive study of our series of breast cancer patients from 1998 to 2011. The age of patients, city of residence, year of treatment and uni- or bilateral location were extracted from the administrative database of the Radiation Oncology Department. The demographical and reference populational data were extracted from the Catalan Institute of Statistics.


3382 patients were obtained. The mean age was 57.79 years. No statistical differences were observed in the mean age during the period of study (p > 0.05), nor in patients with bilateral neoplasias with regard to unilateral tumours (p > 0.5). Patients aged less than 30, 40, 50 and 65 years were 0.3%, 6.3%, 27.0% and 69.1%, respectively. The proportion of patients aged less, equal or more than 40 and 50 years was not statistically different.


Breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant radiotherapy after radical surgery have not experienced significant changes in their mean age at treatment. The subgroups of patients that remain out of the mammographic screening programmes were unchanged as well. The observed differences can be explained by demographical disparities and by a probable increase in the indications for adjuvant radiotherapy.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2015; 20(1) : 22-26

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