Socioeconomic status and its relation with breast cancer recurrence and survival in young women in the Netherlands

Marissa C. van Maaren*, Bernard Rachet, Gabe S. Sonke, Audrey Mauguen, Virginie Rondeau, Sabine Siesling, Aurelien Belot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and breast cancer survival are most pronounced in young patients. We further investigated the relation between SES, subsequent recurrent events and mortality in breast cancer patients < 40 years. Using detailed data on all recurrences that occur between date of diagnosis of the primary tumor and last observation, we provide a unique insight in the prognosis of young breast cancer patients according to SES. Methods: All women < 40 years diagnosed with primary operated stage I-III breast cancer in 2005 were selected from the nationwide population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry. Data on all recurrences within 10 years from primary tumor diagnosis were collected directly from patient files. Recurrence patterns and absolute risks of recurrence, contralateral breast cancer (CBC) and mortality – accounting for competing risks – were analysed according to SES. Relationships between SES, recurrence patterns and excess mortality were estimated using a multivariable joint model, wherein the association between recurrent events and excess mortality (expected mortality derived from the general population) was included. Results: We included 525 patients. The 10-year recurrence risk was lowest in high SES (18.1%), highest in low SES (29.8%). Death and CBC as first events were rare. In high, medium and low SES 13.2%, 15.3% and 19.1% died following a recurrence. Low SES patients had shorter median time intervals between diagnosis, first recurrence and 10-year mortality (2.6 and 2.7 years, respectively) compared to high SES (3.5 and 3.3 years, respectively). In multivariable joint modeling, high SES was significantly related to lower recurrence rates over 10-year follow-up, compared to low SES. A strong association between the recurrent event process and excess mortality was found. Conclusions: High SES is associated with lower recurrence risks, less subsequent events and better prognosis after recurrence over 10 years than low SES. Breast cancer risk factors, adjuvant treatment adherence and treatment of recurrence may possibly play a role in this association.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102118
JournalCancer epidemiology
Early online date5 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


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