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Effect of Comprehensive Breast Care on Breast Cancer Outcomes: A Community Hospital Based Study from Mumbai, India

  • Published : 2012.04.30

Abstract

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in India and the disease burden is increasing annually. The lack of awareness initiatives, structured screening, and affordable treatment facilities continue to result in poor survival. We present a breast cancer survival scenario, in urban population in India, where standardised care is distributed equitably and free of charge through an employees' healthcare scheme. We studied 99 patients who were treated at our hospital during the period 2005 to 2010 and our follow-up rates were 95.95%. Patients received evidence-based standardised care in line with the tertiary cancer centre in Mumbai. One-, three- and five-year survival rates were calculated using Kaplan-Meier method. Socio-demographic, reproductive and tumor factors, relevant to survival, were analysed. Mortality hazard ratios (HR) were calculated using Cox proportional hazard method. Survival in this series was compared to that in registries across India and discrepancies were discussed. Patients mean age was 56 years, mean tumor size was 3.2 cms, 85% of the tumors belonged to T1 and T2 stages, and 45% of the patients belonged to the composite stages I and IIA. Overall 5-year survival was 74.9%. Patients who presented with large-sized tumors (HR 3.06; 95% CI 0.4-9.0), higher composite stage (HR 1.91; 0.55-6.58) and undergone mastectomy (HR 2.94; 0.63-13.62) had a higher risk of mortality than women who had higher levels of education (HR 0.25; 0.05-1.16), although none of these results reached the significant statistical level. We observed 25% better survival compared to other Indian populations. Our results are comparable to those from the European Union and North America, owing to early presentation, equitable access to standardised free healthcare and complete follow-up ensured under the scheme. This emphasises that equitable and affordable delivery of standardised healthcare can translate into early presentation and better survival in India.

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