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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 96-100

Clinical presentation and causes of the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer in patients with pregnancy associated breast cancer

Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology, College of Medicine, University of Dammam, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ali M Al-Amri
Department of Internal Medicine and Oncology, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar 31952, P.O. Box 40182
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8229.155383

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Objective: The objective was to assess the clinical presentation, delay of diagnosis, and the causes of delay in the diagnosis of patients with pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) and patients with non-PABC. Patients and Methods: This was a face-to-face interview with women who had histologically confirmed BC. All respondents were interviewed at our hospital. Results: We interviewed 56 patients, 36 with non-PABC and 20 with PABC. Of the 20 patients with PABC, BC was diagnosed in 12 (60%) during pregnancy and 8 (40%) during postpartum. 18 of the patients (90%) with PABC presented mainly with a mass 3 (15%) with pain and ulcer, 5 (25%) with skin redness and thickening, 6 (30%) with nipple retraction and 4 (20%) with discharge 12 (60%) patients with PABC had delayed diagnosis and 8 (40%) of this delay was due to physicians' reassurance, and 2 (10%) because of fear of cancer. Similarly, 35 (97%) patients with non-PABC presented with breast mass, 3 (8.3%) with infrequent pain 4 (11.11%) with inflammation 2 (5.55%) with ulcer 2 (5.55%) with nipple discharge and4 (11.11%) with thickening of the skin compared with PABC patients. Only 4 (11.11%) in non-PABC had delayed diagnosis, and for half of them the delay was due to the fear of cancer. Two patients with PABC and non-PABC were afraid of cancer 16.66% and 5.55%, respectively. However, 8 (60%) of patients with PABC had delayed diagnosis compared to 0% of patients with non-PABC. Conclusion: In this study, the majority of patients with PABC or non-PABC presented with a breast lump. Other symptoms were more common in patients with PABC than in patients with non-PABC. An increased awareness of clinicians may help reduce delay in the diagnosis of patients with PABC.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010