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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
SOARES, Priscila Bernardina M. et al. Characteristics of women with breast cancer seen at reference services in the North of Minas Gerais. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.3, pp.595-604. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2012000300013.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the main characteristics, including stage of disease and local treatment of patients admitted to two reference services for the treatment of breast cancer in the North of Minas Gerais. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study. We evaluated medical records of 288 female patients with breast cancer admitted between January 2006 and December 2009, referred from a public hospital and a private clinic. Variables were analyzed using the chi-square test and multinomial logistic regression. RESULTS: 68.1% of patients were referred from the public hospital. There was a predominance of patients over 50 years old (54.5%), married (59%) and with children (87.8%). The mean age of the population studied was 63 years old. Time between suspected cancer and confirmation of diagnosis was over six months in 42.7% of patients. Cancer diagnosis was late (stage III and IV) in 47.6% of patients. Family history of breast cancer was present in 20.1%, 20.8% of them had performed self-breast examination, and 41% had been submitted to a mammogram. CONCLUSION: There was a higher prevalence of stage III/IV patients from the public service when compared to the private sector. We found that the major factors associated with the late diagnosis of breast cancer were the delay between suspected and confirmed diagnosis, the absence of family history of breast cancer and not having a mammogram.
Keywords : Breast cancer; Epidemiology; Late diagnosis; Health services; Risk Factors.