PATIENT SELF DELAY AMONG WOMEN WITH BREAST CANCER

Ayesha Khan, Khalid Khan, Ali Raza, Zaheer ud Din Qureshi, Babar Sultan, Fahad Ali Khan

Abstract


Background: Delay in the diagnosis of carcinoma breast has important prognostic, clinical and medico-legal implications. This study assesses the frequency and causes of patient delay in women with breast cancer presenting to a breast clinic run by a specialist surgical unit in a tertiary care hospital.  Methods: For this study all women, aged between 16–90 years, who presented with primary breast carcinoma of any histological type, diagnosed between June 2016 to September 2017 were eligible. Structured interviews were administered during the first visit with a confirmed diagnosis or the first hospitalization due to carcinoma breast, and the frequencies of the factors for delay analysed. Results: 84% of the patients presenting with primary carcinoma breast present with a significant patient delay, of which older patients who are illiterate, poor, coming from rural areas and unaware of carcinoma breast as a disease, among other factors, have a higher tendency to delay consultation. Conclusion: Healthcare advice-seeking behaviour in women suffering from breast cancer in Pakistan is alarming with a vast majority of patients presenting late leading to delayed treatment and probable worse outcomes and survival.

Keywords: carcinoma breast; self-delay; late diagnosis; patient delay; breast cancer


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References


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