Patterns of Care of Breast Cancer Patients in a Rural Cancer Center in Western India
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Breast cancer is an emerging public health problem in low- and middle-income countries. The main objective is to describe the clinical characteristics and patterns of care of breast cancer patients diagnosed and treated in a rural cancer hospital in Barshi, Western India. The results from a cross-sectional study of 99 consecutive breast cancer patients diagnosed and treated between February 2012 and November 2014 in Nargis Dutt Memorial Cancer Hospital is reported. The case records of the patients were scrutinized and reviewed to abstract data on their clinical characteristics, diagnostic, and treatment details. The mean age at diagnosis of the patients was 52.8 ± 11.6 years; 83.5% of women were married, and 60.6% were illiterate. Sixty percent of patients had tumors measuring 5 cm or less. Almost half of the patients (46.4%) had stage I or II A disease and a third (36.0%) had axillary lymph node metastasis. Estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor receptor2 receptor status were investigated in 41 (41.4%) of patients only. The median interval between diagnosis and initiation of treatment was 11 days. Modified radical mastectomy was done in 91% of patients, and nearly a third of patients who were prescribed chemotherapy did not complete treatment. The rural-based tertiary cancer care center has made treatment more accessible to breast cancer patients and has reduced the interval between diagnosis and treatment initiation. However, there are still many challenges like non-compliance to and incomplete treatments and poor follow-up that need to be addressed.
KeywordsBreast cancer Patterns of care India Rural
Authors acknowledge patients who contributed to this study, Katkar SV, for interviewing and abstracting data from records and Badave AG and Lakashetti SS for entering data.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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