Get the Right Treatment at Any Age

Breast cancer patients of all ages deserve a genomic test.

Did you know that only 4 in 100 women with early stage breast cancer will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy?1

Breast cancer treatment today is no longer“one size fits all”—what is best for one woman is often not right for another. It’s important to learn as much as possible about your breast cancer diagnosis and individual options when making a treatment decision. For some patients, a genomic test can help determine whether chemotherapy is necessary in addition to hormone therapy to treat breast cancer and prevent future recurrences. These types of tests have been around for more thana decade, and yet some breast cancer patients aren’t offered this important tool.

Patients 70 Years and Older Are 3.2 Times Less Likely to Receive a Genomic Test

Recent analyses from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Registry reveal that race, education and socio-economic status do not affect whether a woman receives a genomic test, but age is a factor. In the study with more than 44,600 breast cancer patients, the data show that:

  • Patients 70 years and older are 3.2 times less likely to receive a genomic test.
  • Older patients are more likely to be under-treated(i.e. not given chemotherapy when appropriate), leading to worse outcomes including lower rates of breast cancer-specific survival.
Breast Cancer Treatment After Age 70

Patients Deserve to Have All the Information About Their Breast Cancer Options

Whether hormonal therapy alone or additional chemotherapy is needed, treatment regimens today are much different than just a decade ago. Both hormonal therapies and chemo regimens can now be tailored so they are safe and effective for patients at any age. When you have all the information about your breast cancer, you can make the treatment decision best for you.

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About No Matter My Age

The No Matter My Age campaign focuses on educating and raising awareness about the need for all patients, regardless of age, to get as much information as they can before making a treatment decision. This means having an open conversation with your doctor and asking questions about your care, including whether or not a genomic test may help determine the best treatment plan for you.

Resources for Patients

Below are patient organizations that may be helpful for you or your loved one facing breast cancer.

  • Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation: Focused on ending breast cancer by assisting patients, informing policymakers and expanding knowledge through education and community outreach.
  • Leading online resource for breast cancer and breast health information.
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation: Dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by inflammatory breast cancer through the power of action and advocacy.
  • National Breast Cancer Coalition: Organization that seeks to improve public policies surrounding breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment.
  • SHARE: Organization focused on creating and sustaining a supportive network and community of women affected by breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Susan G. Komen: Works to addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy.
  • Young Survival Coalition: Premier organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Additional Readings

Learn more about the age bias issues in genomic testing and treatments for breast cancer patients.

1This represents the estimated benefit (improvement in 10-year risk of distant recurrence) with the addition of chemotherapy to 5 years of hormonal therapy. Paik et al. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24(23):3726-34.