Breast carcinoma in young women

Patricia S. Simmons, Yasmin L. Jayasinghe, Lester E. Wold, L. Joseph Melton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: To estimate the incidence of breast carcinoma and survival in patients younger than 25 years old, and to describe presenting clinical signs and symptoms of breast cancer in this age group. Methods: A population-based descriptive study and case review in Olmsted County, Minnesota, was conducted using the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project. Participants were Olmsted County girls and women younger than 25 years old with histopathologically confirmed breast carcinoma diagnosed between 1935 and 2005. Nonresidents who presented to a medical facility within Olmsted County during this time period were included in some portions of the analysis. Main outcome measures were age-adjusted incidence, 5-year survival, and clinical presentation of breast carcinoma in girls and women younger than 25 years of age. Results: With four breast carcinomas observed in Olmsted County residents over 1,201,539 person-years, the annual age-adjusted incidence of breast cancer in this population was 3.2 per million (95% confidence interval, 0.1-6.2). All four cancers occurred in the 20-to 24-year age group (age-specific incidence, 16.2 per million). Eight additional cases of breast carcinoma were identified in nonresidents. Delay in diagnosis was common. All had at least one feature worrisome for an aggressive neoplasm identified in their clinical history, on physical examination or by imaging. Conclusion: Breast carcinoma in young women is very rare, associated with delayed diagnosis, and usually associated with concerning features requiring biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-536
Number of pages8
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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