Purpose: To determine the prognostication and treatment decision making of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 8th pathological staging system in elderly women (aged ≥65 years) with T1-2N0M0 breast cancer (BC).

Results: We included 67699 patients, and patients were restaged into stage IA (84.9%), IB (8.9%), and IIA (6.2%) using the 8th AJCC edition criteria. Overall, 69.4% and 30.6% of them underwent breast-conservation surgery (BCS) and mastectomy (MAST), respectively. In patients who received BCS, 30.3% of them underwent postoperative radiotherapy (RT). Patients with a higher pathological stage were more likely to receive MAST. The 5-year breast cancer-specific mortality rate was 2.2%, 6.5% and 13.7% in stage IA, IB, and IIA, respectively. Patients treated with BCS and RT had significantly lower risk of breast cancer-specific mortality compared to those treated with MAST or with BCS alone regardless of the pathological prognostic stages (P<0.001).

Conclusions: The 8th AJCC pathological prognostic staging system provides accurate risk stratification and impacts the treatment decision making for elderly women with early-stage BC.

Methods: We identified stage T1-2N0M0 BC patients using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Statistical analyses were used binomial logistic regression, and multivariable competing risk models in the Cox model framework.