Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Breast Cancer in Jamaica

  • Chin, Sheray Nicole (Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies) ;
  • Green, Cheryl (Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies) ;
  • Strachan, Georgiana Gordon (Office of the Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies) ;
  • Wharfe, Gilian (Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies)
  • Published : 2014.04.01


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Jamaican women. This study assessed the clinicopathologic features of cases in a hospital-based specialist clinic in Kingston, Jamaica. A retrospective chart review was performed for the 2-year study period and relevant clinical and surgico-pathologic data were recorded and analyzed. Median age of the 121 breast cancer patients was 52 years (range 22-84, IQR 20) and there was 1 case of male breast cancer. Most patients (65%) were referred from the surgical service after definitive breast cancer surgery, 20% were referred for pre-operative systemic therapy, and 15% had a diagnosis of metastatic disease. The surgico-pathologic group comprised 78 women who were referred for adjuvant therapy. The majority had presented with a palpable breast lump (91%), with median tumour size 3.5cm (range 0.4-13, IQR 4). Most tumours were node positive (56%). Approximately one-third of patients had stage III disease (33%). Most women presented with large palpable tumours and had lymph node involvement confirmed on surgicopathological evaluation, indicative of limited early breast cancer detection. A national screening mammography programme is recommended for detection of earlier lesions. Pre-operative systemic therapy should be considered as an option for eligible patients.


Breast cancer;clinicopathologic characteristics;screening;Jamaica


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