Cumulative survival in early-onset unilateral and bilateral breast cancer: An analysis of 1907 Taiwanese women

W. H. Kuo, A. M.F. Yen, P. H. Lee, K. M. Chen, J. Wang, K. J. Chang, T. H.H. Chen, H. S. Tsau

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45 Citations (Scopus)


As the epidemiological pattern of breast cancer in modernising Asian countries differs greatly from that in Western countries, it is worthwhile to investigate the long-term prognoses of unilateral and bilateral breast cancer in these nations. A retrospective cohort study composed of 1907 Taiwanese women was conducted to follow 1863 unilateral and 44 bilateral cases of breast cancer. Time-dependent Cox regression was used to assess the risk of breast cancer death by considering the time course of unilateral and bilateral tumour development. The 15-year survival rates were 68.37, 62.63, and 26.42% for unilateral, synchronous bilateral, and metachronous bilateral breast cancer, respectively. Differences among types were most apparent after 5 years of follow-up. After adjusting for significant prognostic factors, the risk of death for overall bilateral breast cancer was 2.50-fold greater (95% CI, 1.43-4.37) compared to unilateral breast cancer. The corresponding figures were 1.12-fold (95% CI, 0.42-3.02) and 6.11-fold (95% CI, 3.14-11.89) for synchronous and metachronous bilateral breast cancer, respectively. Taiwanese women, who are frequently diagnosed with breast cancer before 50 years of age, showed poorer survival for metachronous bilateral than for synchronous bilateral or unilateral breast cancer. Survival was markedly poorer compared to recent data from Sweden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 24 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilateral breast cancer
  • Early-onset breast cancer
  • Metachronous breast cancer
  • Survival
  • Synchronous breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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