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BACKGROUND: Surgery and chemotherapy use were studied among older women with early stage triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in a population-based cohort. METHODS: Women aged ≥50 years with unilateral early (stage 1-3a) TNBC diagnosed in 2014-2017 were identified from English cancer registration data. Information on surgery and chemotherapy was from linked Hospital Episode Statistics and Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy datasets, respectively. Logistic regression was used to investigate the influences of patient age, comorbidity and frailty on uptake of surgery and chemotherapy. RESULTS: There were 7094 women with early stage TNBC. Overall rate of surgery was 94%, which only decreased among women aged ≥85 years (74%) and among the most frail. Among the 6681 women receiving surgery, 16% had neoadjuvant and 42% had adjuvant chemotherapy; the use of both decreased with age. More comorbidities and greater frailty were associated with lower rates of chemotherapy. There were differences in the uptake of chemotherapy across geographical regions and in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy regimens between age groups. CONCLUSION: Majority of older women with early TNBC had surgery, although some physically fit older women did not. Chemotherapy use varied by age and fitness.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Surg Oncol

Publication Date





251 - 260


Chemotherapy, Geriatric oncology, Surgery, Triple negative breast cancer, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Neoplasms, Combined Modality Therapy, Comorbidity, England, Female, Frailty, Humans, Incidence, Mastectomy, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Population Surveillance, Prognosis, Survival Rate