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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 517976, 8 pages
Research Article

Age at Diagnosis and Breast Cancer Survival in Iran

1Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and HTA, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2Roessingh Research and Development (RRD), P.O. Box 310, 7500 AH Enschede, The Netherlands
3National Expert and Training Centre for Breast Cancer Screening (LRCB), P.O. Box 6873, 6503 GJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
4Department of Haematology and Oncology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, 1983963113 Tehran, Iran
5Comprehensive Cancer Centre the Netherlands, P.O. Box 19079, 3501 DB Utrecht, The Netherlands
6Department of Urology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Received 2 April 2012; Revised 26 September 2012; Accepted 14 October 2012

Academic Editor: Michael S. Simon

Copyright © 2012 Fatemeh Asadzadeh Vostakolaei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Tumour characteristics are the most important prognostic factors in breast cancer. Patient-related factors such as young age at diagnosis, obesity, and smoking behaviour may also modify disease outcome. Due to the absence of a unique definition for “young age breast cancer” and the resulting variation in disease management, findings on the association between young age and prognosis of breast cancer are controversial. Methods. This study included 1500 patients with a primary diagnosis of breast cancer in six Iranian hospitals from 5 provinces. We modelled the relative excess risk (RER) of breast cancer death to age at diagnosis and tumour characteristics. Results. Excess risks of death were observed for stage IV disease and poorly differentiated tumours: RER of 4.3 (95% CI: 1.05–17.65) and 3.4 (95% CI: 1.17–9.87), respectively. “Older” patients, particularly those aged 50 and over, presented more often with advanced and poorly differentiated tumours ( ). After adjustment for stage, histological grade, Her-2 expression, estrogen and progesterone receptors, and place of residency, breast cancer mortality was not significantly different across age groups. Conclusion. We conclude that there is no prognostic effect of age at diagnosis of breast cancer among breast cancer patients treated at cancer centres in different parts of Iran; young and relatively old women have similar risks of dying from breast cancer.