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Papers And Short Reports

Young age as a prognostic factor in cervical cancer: analysis of population based data from 10 022 cases

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988; 296 doi: (Published 06 February 1988) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1988;296:386
  1. Clive A Meanwell,
  2. Krystyna A Kelly,
  3. Susan Wilson,
  4. Claudia Roginski,
  5. Ciaran Woodman,
  6. Rod Griffiths,
  7. George Blackledge


    The effect of young age on survival in cervical cancer is not fully known, although evidence has suggested that it is a poor prognostic factor and that young patients should therefore be treated differently from older patients. All 10 022 cases of invasive cervical cancer in the west Midlands during 1957-81, which comprised 10% of the cases in England and Wales, were analysed to determine the prognostic effect of age. Univariate analysis showed a median survival time of 54 months for all cases, with survival rates at five years of 69% for patients aged under 40 and 45% for those aged 40 or older (χ12 (log rank)=331·4; p<0·0001). This difference remained significant after stratification for stage (χ12 (log rank)=7·1; p=0·008). Cox regression analysis with nine covariables, including age and year of registration, reaffirmed the importance of conventional prognostic factors such as stage of disease, size of tumour, state of lymph nodes, and differentiation of the tumour. After allowance was made for the effects of other prognostic factors young age was found to be a small but significant favourable factor that did not change during the period of the study. Estimated survival distributions obtained from the Cox model showed that for women presenting with the common characteristics associated with stage Ib disease who were treated with radical radiotherapy the survival rate at five years fell non-linearly from 71% in the group aged 25-29 to 65% in the group aged 65-69.

    Young age alone is not a reason to alter existing policies for treatment for patients with invasive cervical cancer.