Nearly 30% of the breast cancer patients in the Taiwanese community have their diseases diagnosed before the age of 40. Their 5-year survival rate is poorer than that of their late-onset breast cancer counterparts. Genomic abnormalities between these two breast cancer age groups were compared using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) analyses. The sample set was made up of 44 early-onset (<35 years old) and 54 late-onset cases (>63 years old). Frequent CGH changes were noted, such as gains on 8q, 1q, and 17q and losses on 16q, 17p, and 8p. These were very similar for the two age groups, as well as for Taiwanese women and other ethnic populations. In contrast, several less common lesions, such as gains on 16p and 8p and losses on 11q and 9p, were significantly different between the early- and late-onset breast tumors. In addition, more profound chromosomal changes were consistently associated with the more advanced-stage tumors, and less expression of the estrogen and the progesterone receptors, and of HER-2/neu. About 19% of the breast cancers examined carried a TP53 mutation in exons 4-9. Of these, 88% (15/17) were missense point mutations and these were distributed randomly along the tested gene fragments without apparent clustering, as has been shown in certain other ethnic or regional studies. On average, patients carrying these TP53 mutations had 9.5 CGH lesions per case, compared to only 2.8 changes in samples that had no TP53 mutation. Our results indicate that certain genomic lesions, especially 11q loss, may play a role in early-onset breast tumor formation, and that combined use of genomic patterns and molecular targets may provide a useful tool for diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic purposes.