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Asian J Surg. 2004 Apr;27(2):130-3.

Overview of breast cancer in Malaysian women: a problem with late diagnosis.

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1
Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Putrajaya Hospital, Precinct 7, 62250 Putrajaya, Malaysia. anhisham@pd.jaring.my

Abstract

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Malaysian women. There is a marked geographical difference in the worldwide incidence of breast cancer, with a higher incidence in developed countries compared to developing countries. From 1998 to 2001, new cases of breast cancer presenting to the breast clinics at Hospital Kuala Lumpur and University Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia, were reviewed; the race, age and stage at presentation were analysed. Of 774 cases seen in Hospital Kuala Lumpur, only 5.2% (40/774) were impalpable breast cancers diagnosed on mammography. The prevalent age group was 40 to 49 years, and the median age was 50 years. The average size of the tumour was 5.4 cm in diameter. Malay women appear to have larger tumours and a later stage at presentation than other ethnic groups; 50% to 60% were in late stages (Stages 3 and 4). During the same period, 752 new cases of breast cancer were seen in the University Malaya Medical Centre. The average tumour size was 4.2 cm, and 30% to 40% were in late stages. The age incidence was similar. The delay in presentation of breast cancer was attributed to a strong belief in traditional medicine, the negative perception of the disease, poverty and poor education, coupled with fear and denial. A prospective, population-based study is required to determine the demographic pattern of breast cancer and the factors delaying presentation. These findings will have important implications in future programmes to promote the early detection of breast cancer, as well as in understanding geographical as well as racial variations in the incidence of breast cancer.

PMID:
15140665
DOI:
10.1016/S1015-9584(09)60326-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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