Postpartum breast cancer behaves differently
Breast cancer, Prognosis, Postpartum, Matched case-control study
Published online: Oct 05 2011
Background and Aim: Previous studies suggest a worse prognosis for postpartum breast cancer (PPBC) diagnosed within the first 12 months following delivery. We investigated this hypothesis in our setting through a retrospective pilot study. Methods: A retrospective multicentre paired case-control study of breast cancer patients diagnosed under age 45 from the UZ Leuven database or affiliated centres. We compared disease outcome of women with a PPBC and those without a pregnancy associated breast cancer (PABC). They were matched for the following prognostic markers: age at diag- nosis, tumour type, characteristics and stage. Kaplan-Meier statistics were applied for overall and disease free sur- vival.
Results: 53 PPBC cases were matched with 103 controls. All PPBC patients were diagnosed with an invasive ductal carcinoma. Axillary lymph nodes were involved in 56.6% of cases and 13% were primary metastasized at diagnosis. A third was triple-negative and another third was HER-2-positive.The 5-year overall survival was 60% and 84% respectively for PPBC cases and control group. 5-year disease free survival was respectively 53% and 68%. Conclusions: We confirm that postpartum breast cancer behaves more aggressively than the matched non-PABC group. Longer follow-up and extension of the study group are necessary to confirm these findings.