Similar Specific Survival for Unilateral, Bilateral Breast CA

Synchronous bilateral breast cancer survival similar to unilateral cancer high-risk matches

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The 10-year breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS) of patients with synchronous bilateral breast cancer (SBBC) and high-risk matches with unilateral breast cancer is not significantly different, according to a study published online Nov. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Alan M. Nichol, M.D., from the British Columbia Cancer Agency-Vancouver Centre in Canada, and colleagues examined whether survival outcomes for patients with SBBC can be estimated from the characteristics of their individual cancers, in patients with invasive breast cancer, without metastases or inflammatory disease. Between 1989 and 2000, 207 patients with SBBC and 15,497 with unilateral breast cancer were examined. The higher-risk cancer of each case with SBBC was identified and matched with 621 high-risk cases from the unilateral cohort, using 10-year BCSS estimates.

The investigators found that the unilateral cohort had significantly higher overall 10-year BCSS (81 percent) than the SBBC cohort (71 percent), at a median follow-up of 10.2 years. The mean age and stage at presentation was significantly higher for patients with SBBC. The high-risk matches had a 10-year BCSS of 74 percent.

"The SBBC cases had worse BCSS than the unilateral cohort because the higher-risk cancers of the SBBC cases had worse prognostic factors. In the matching analysis, BCSS was equivalent for the SBBC cases and their high-risk matches. Thus, for a patient with SBBC, an appropriate systemic therapy selection can be made by considering the prognosis of their higher-risk cancer," the authors write.

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