Indian Journal of Cancer
Home  ICS  Feedback Subscribe Top cited articles Login 
Users Online :1758
Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Navigate here
  Search
 
  
Resource links
 »  Similar in PUBMED
 »  Search Pubmed for
 »  Search in Google Scholar for
 »Related articles
 »  Article in PDF (255 KB)
 »  Citation Manager
 »  Access Statistics
 »  Reader Comments
 »  Email Alert *
 »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

 
  In this article
 »  Abstract
 » Introduction
 »  Materials and Me...
 » Results
 » Discussion
 »  References
 »  Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed3171    
    Printed104    
    Emailed3    
    PDF Downloaded592    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal

 

  Table of Contents  
BREAST - ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 403-405
 

Is locally advanced breast cancer a neglected disease?


Department of Surgery, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Digdoh Hills, Hingna, Nagpur, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2012

Correspondence Address:
M Akhtar
Department of Surgery, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Digdoh Hills, Hingna, Nagpur
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.92254

Rights and Permissions

 » Abstract 

Background and Aims: Breast cancer is the second most common malignancy in India, and majority of patients present as a locally advanced breast carcinoma (LABC). Evaluating the prevalence of LABC and assessing the causes of local advancement and delayed presentation is the aim of the present study. Settings and Design: This was a rural hospital-based prospective cross-sectional study. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics. Materials and Methods: Seventy-one cytologically/histopathologically confirmed cases of breast carcinoma were enrolled in the study. Breast sarcomas and lymphoma were excluded and, of them, prevalence of LABC and causes of delay and local advancement, i.e. patient factors, system factors and biological factors, were evaluated. Results: LABC accounted for 50.7% of these patients. On assessing the cause of advancement of LABC, patient factor (69.8%) was the major cause for delayed presentation, followed by system delay (23.6%). Patient factors were lack of awareness of breast cancer (75%) and financial constraints (52.8%). The system factor was nonreferral by general practitioners to specialty centers or trying to treat these patients with other allied modalities of treatment. Conclusions: LABC in the Indian scenario is an outcome of neglect due to patient and system factors. These factors offer an excellent opportunity to plan a community-oriented preventive strategy for the general population and practitioners to decrease the incidence of LABC.


Keywords: Breast cancer, locally advanced breast carcinoma, neglected carcinoma


How to cite this article:
Akhtar M, Akulwar V, Gandhi D, Chandak K. Is locally advanced breast cancer a neglected disease?. Indian J Cancer 2011;48:403-5

How to cite this URL:
Akhtar M, Akulwar V, Gandhi D, Chandak K. Is locally advanced breast cancer a neglected disease?. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2011 [cited 2019 Dec 9];48:403-5. Available from: http://www.indianjcancer.com/text.asp?2011/48/4/403/92254



 » Introduction Top


Breast cancer accounts for 5-8% of all cancer in India, [1] and the incidence is on the rise. [2] It is the most common cancer of urban Indian women, and the second most common in rural women. [3] Locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) accounts for 50% of all breast cancers. [4] This incidence is quite high when compared with the western statistics. The reason for this advancement is either patient neglect or health system failure or tumor biology. The present study aims at finding the cause of local advancement, which in turn will be helpful in planning health care intervention, which will help in reducing the incidence of LABC and improving the overall prognosis.


 » Materials and Methods Top


This prospective study was carried out from 2008 to 2011 at a rural-based tertiary care hospital located in Central India. All cytologically and histopathologically confirmed cases of carcinoma breast were included, while breast sarcomas and lymphomas were excluded. All breast cancers were staged as operable breast cancer (OBC), LABC and advanced or metastatic breast cancers (ABC or MBC). The subjects for study were LABC patients who included clinical stage T3N0, T3N1, T4 and/or N2-3. [5]

The prevalence of LABC was calculated by dividing the number of LABC patients by the total number of patients of breast carcinoma enrolled in the study. LABC patients were assessed by using a locally developed, pilot-tested and validated questionnaire for the cause of delay and advancement, with special stress on system factors, patient factors and biological factors. There was no such questionnaire available in the literature and hence a questionnaire was developed locally. The system factors for delay included nonreferral by general practitioner, treatment by alternative therapy, etc., while patient factors for delay included lack of awareness regarding breast cancer, economic reasons, shyness to show to doctor, fear of surgery/fear of losing breast, family noncooperation, etc. Biological factors meant aggressive tumor biology, which included all patients in whom local advancement occurred in less than 3 months from the time of first detection of tumor.


 » Results Top


A total of 71 patients of breast carcinoma were enrolled in the study. All patients were females. The mean age of presentation was 48.3 years, with a range between 25 years and 72 years. Of the 71 patients, 36 (50.7%) patients had LABC, while 27 (38%) patients presented with OBC and another eight (11.3%) patients as MBC [Table 1].
Table 1: Distribution according to stage of cancer (n=71)

Click here to view


The cause of delayed presentation was analyzed in all patients who had LABC [Table 2]. Patient factor (69.8%) was the most common cause for advancement, followed by system factor (23.6%) and biological factors (6.6%). In patient factor, the most common cause was lack of awareness of breast cancer (75%), followed by financial difficulties (52.8%). Among the system factors, trial of alternate therapy and delay in referring the patients to the tertiary care hospital were important factors. It was also found that many patients had more than one cause for delay in presentation [Table 2].
Table 2: Various causes of delay in patients of locally advanced breast carcinoma

Click here to view



 » Discussion Top


LABC accounts for a sizeable number of breast cancer cases in the present series, which is a common clinical scenario in developing countries. [4] The treatment of LABC has evolved from single-modality treatment, consisting of radical mutilating surgery or higher doses of radiotherapy, to multimodality management in search of offering better disease control and survival, but prognosis continues to remain grim. Unfortunately, a large load of LABC in the Indian population means poor prognosis and increasing cost of multimodality treatment.

Finding out the cause of local advancement of disease and taking remedial community-based intervention to reduce the incidence of LABC by detecting causes of local advancement is a rational approach and, with intention of improving prognosis, the present study was an effort in this direction. A locally developed questionnaire, pilot-tested and duly validated, was an instrument used to assess the causes of advancement. The need to develop this instrument arose as no standard questionnaire was available in the literature. Also, the local population perspective was taken into consideration in the local questionnaire.

Patient factor was the major cause of delay, and it was lack of awareness about disease compounded with financial difficulty, i.e. inability to afford cost of treatment, which led to neglect of disease by the patient herself and also by the relatives. Therefore, we termed LABC as neglected disease. Similarly, system factors, the next common cause of advancement, was treating doctors showing neglect by not referring the patient for treatment to a specialized center and trying to treat LABC with alternative pathies present in India. These two human factors are amenable to rectification by community-based intervention. Prompt reporting by the patient for treatment and early referral by the treating doctor can take care of neglect and reduce the occurrence of LABC. Delay in taking treatment is not only observed in India but this was also seen in Thailand, where need to improve the referral system was emphasized. [6] Delay in standard treatment in carcinoma breast is associated with advancement of disease; a strong association between delay and stage of disease at diagnosis was observed in a population-based study in Germany. [7] A systematic review of 87 studies suggest that advancement of disease is due to a delay in seeking treatment. [6] Arguments of the present study are similar, which correlate delay with LABC and looking for causes of delay. The observations from the present study offer a strong case for community intervention in rural masses to improve the awareness of breast cancer and financially support those patients for treatment of breast cancer at government cost by extending Jeevandai Yojna (a social security scheme of the Government of India). Educating medical practitioners in rural areas and need for early referral is another strategy to reduce the occurrence of LABC.

The present study is a small effort and a hypothesis-generating exercise. The major drawback for such a study is inconstant definition of delay across the literature, making the comparison between the various studies difficult. [8] No study in the literature looked at LABC as a core group, and no such study is reported in the literature on the Indian population. A large multicentric epidemiological study assessing the social causes for advancement will go a long way in framing guidelines for a community intervention of education and screening programs to reduce the incidence of LABC in the rural Indian population.

 
 » References Top

1.Chandra AB. Problems and prospects of cancer of the breast in India. J Indian Med Assoc 1979;72:43-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]    
2.Kuraparthy S, Reddy KM, Yadagiri LA, Yutla M, Venkata PB, Kadainti SV, et al. Epidemiology and patterns of care for invasive breast carcinoma at a community hospital in Southern India. World J Surg Oncol 2007;5:56.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
3.Agarwal G, Ramakant P. Breast Cancer Care in India: The Current Scenario and the Challenges for the Future. Breast Care (Basel) 2008;3:21-7  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Agarwal G, Pradeep PV, Aggarwal V, Yip CH, Cheung PS. Spectrum of breast cancer in Asian women. World J Surg 2007;31:1031-40.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
5.AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 6 th ed. Chicago, Illinois USA: Springer; 2002. p. 227-8  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Thongsuksai P, Chongsuvivatwong V, Sriplung H. Delay in breast cancer care: A study in Thai women. Med Care 2000;38:108-14.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
7.Arndt V, Stürmer T, Stegmaier C, Ziegler H, Dhom G, Brenner H. Patient delay and stage of diagnosis among breast cancer patients in Germany - A population based study. Br J Cancer 2002;86:1034-40.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Caplan LS, Helzlsouer KJ. Delay in breast cancer: A review of the literature. Public Health Rev 1992-1993;20:187-214.  Back to cited text no. 8
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Evaluation of Surgical Outcomes of Oncoplasty Breast Surgery in Locally Advanced Breast Cancer and Comparison with Conventional Breast Conservation Surgery
Ashutosh Chauhan,Mala Mathur Sharma,Kishore Kumar
Indian Journal of Surgical Oncology. 2016; 7(4): 413
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Determinants of Advanced Stage at Initial Diagnosis of Breast Cancer in Pakistan: Adverse Tumor Biology vs Delay in Diagnosis
Samina Khokher,Muhammad Usman Qureshi,Saqib Mahmood,Sadia Sadiq
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2016; 17(2): 759
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Challenges to effective cancer control in China, India, and Russia
Paul E Goss,Kathrin Strasser-Weippl,Brittany L Lee-Bychkovsky,Lei Fan,Junjie Li,Yanin Chavarri-Guerra,Pedro E R Liedke,C S Pramesh,Tanja Badovinac-Crnjevic,Yuri Sheikine,Zhu Chen,You-lin Qiao,Zhiming Shao,Yi-Long Wu,Daiming Fan,Louis W C Chow,Jun Wang,Qiong Zhang,Shiying Yu,Gordon Shen,Jie He,Arnie Purushotham,Richard Sullivan,Rajendra Badwe,Shripad D Banavali,Reena Nair,Lalit Kumar,Purvish Parikh,Somasundarum Subramanian,Pankaj Chaturvedi,Subramania Iyer,Surendra Srinivas Shastri,Raghunadhrao Digumarti,Enrique Soto-Perez-de-Celis,Dauren Adilbay,Vladimir Semiglazov,Sergey Orlov,Dilyara Kaidarova,Ilya Tsimafeyeu,Sergei Tatishchev,Kirill D Danishevskiy,Marc Hurlbert,Caroline Vail,Jessica St Louis,Arlene Chan
The Lancet Oncology. 2014; 15(5): 489
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Role of 18F-FDG PET/CT in identifying distant metastatic disease missed by conventional imaging in patients with locally advanced breast cancer
Manohar, K. and Mittal, B.R. and Bhoil, A. and Bhattacharya, A. and Singh, G.
Nuclear Medicine Communications. 2013; 34(6): 557-561
[Pubmed]



 

Top
Print this article  Email this article
 

    

  Site Map | What's new | Copyright and Disclaimer
  Online since 1st April '07
  © 2007 - Indian Journal of Cancer | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow