Background and Aim: Breast cancers are relatively rare among young women amounting up to 6% of all breast carcinoma cases reported in that age group. In younger age groups, breast cancers, though, have a more aggressive behavior and poorer outcome in comparison to patients in the elderly age groups. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the histopathological characteristics of breast carcinomas reported in patients lesser than 40 years of age. Materials and Methods: Surgical specimens of carcinoma breast received at the Department of Pathology in a tertiary care hospital for a period of 2 years from January 2014 to December 2015 were included in the study. The histo-pathological slides were reviewed and clinical data was collected from the archival records and compared. Statistical analysis was done using IBM SPSS statistics 17 (Chicago, USA). Various tumor characteristics were correlated with the morphological features and the other clinico-pathologic data using Chi-square value (c2), paired t-test and Fischer’s test. p<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma-Not otherwise specified (IDC-NOS) was found to be the most common variant of breast carcinoma in both the younger and the elderly age groups followed by the invasive lobular carcinoma and mucinous carcinoma in the younger and invasive lobular carcinoma and mucinous carcinoma and papillary carcinoma in the elderly age groups. Also, stage II followed by stage III were the commonest stages reported in the younger and elderly age groups based on their prevalence as against stage I and IV (p=0.006). Conclusion: Breast cancers diagnosed in younger age groups present with an aggressive behavior and poorer outcome in comparison to patients in the elderly age groups. Also, such cancers often tend to present with advanced stages of the disease process and high grades of tumor with lymph nodal involvement and metastasis at the time they are first diagnosed conferring an inferior prognosis illustrating the need for more clinical trials to be conducted on younger patients with breast cancers with an aim to improve the overall outcome in this age group.
Key words: Breast cancers, Tertiary care settings, Younger age groups, TNM staging, Histo-pathology.