Women diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35 face an increased risk of spread, according to the first global study of its kind.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, with 2.3 million people diagnosed each year. Survival rates are generally good, largely due to detection, early diagnosis, and improved treatment.
However, until now, little was known about the risk of secondary breast cancer, where the disease spreads to other parts of the body and becomes incurable.
A meta-analysis of more than 400 studies has found that the risk of breast cancer spreading to another part of the body ranges from 6% to 22%. The results of the study are presented at the 6th International Consensus Conference on Advanced Breast Cancer.
The findings also suggest that certain women face a higher risk, including those diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35, those with larger tumors when initially diagnosed, and those with specific types of the disease, for example, luminal B.
Kotryna Temcinaite, senior manager of research communications for the charity Breast Cancer Now, said the analysis “provides useful information about who is most at risk.”
“Approximately 1,000 women in the UK die each month from incurable secondary breast cancer,” he said. “We desperately need to learn more about this devastating disease so that we can find new ways to improve treatment, care and support for people living with it and for those living in fear of a diagnosis.
“The data shows that people diagnosed with primary breast cancer who are 35 years old or younger have the highest chance of developing secondary breast cancer. The study also highlights that the size of the tumor, the type of breast cancer and the time elapsed since the primary diagnosis can affect a person’s risk.
“Secondary breast cancer can develop many years after an initial cancer diagnosis, so it is vital that we understand it better and find new ways to prevent it.”
For the study, the researchers analyzed data on tens of thousands of women in more than 400 studies from North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The analysis suggests that the overall risk of metastasis for most breast cancer patients is between 6% and 22%. The researchers say the range is wide because risk varies significantly depending on a wide range of different factors.
For example, first-time diagnosed women under the age of 35 have a 12.7% to 38% risk of breast cancer returning and spreading to other parts of the body, while women age 50 and over have a risk of 3.7% to 28.6%. .
“This may be because younger women have a more aggressive form of breast cancer or because they are being diagnosed at a later stage,” said study presenter Dr. Eileen Morgan of the International Cancer Research Agency. Cancer (IARC).
“Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world,” she said. “Most women are diagnosed when the cancer is confined to the breast or only spreads to nearby tissues. But in some women, the cancer will grow and spread to other parts of the body or return to a different part of the body several years after the end of their initial treatment.
“At this point, the cancer becomes much more difficult to treat and the risk of dying is higher. However, we don’t really know how many people develop metastatic breast cancer because cancer registries have not routinely collected this data. “
The study also found that women with specific types of breast cancer appeared to have a higher risk of spreading, for example, those with a type of cancer called luminal B.
Those with this form had a risk of spread of 4.2% to 35.5% compared to the risk of 2.3% to 11.8% in women diagnosed with luminal A cancer.
Dr. Shani Paluch-Shimon, a member of the conference’s scientific committee and director of the breast unit at Hadassah University Hospital in Israel, who was not involved in the research, said the findings were “vital” for patients and doctors.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism