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Factors influencing delay in symptomatic presentation of breast cancer in Brazilian women

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The aim of this study was to evaluate delays in the presentation of symptomatic breast cancer in women (time interval between the perception of their first sign or symptom until the first medical appointment) and its risk factors. A cohort study composed of patients with breast cancer (symptomatic) admitted to an oncological centre in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was performed. The patients were interviewed during their first hospital visit. To assess time interval as a continuous variable, the median and interquartile ranges (IQR) were calculated. The outcome comprised delay in breast cancer presentation when time from the first sign or symptom perception to the first medical appointment was ≥90 days. A descriptive analysis was performed. The association between independent variables (epidemiological, social and demographic data, related to individual healthcare, clinical and current disease) and the outcome (delay in symptomatic presentation) was assessed by a univariate analysis applying odds ratios (OR). Associations with p < .20 in the univariate analysis were included in the multiple logistic regression model. Variables with a p < .05 were retained in the final model. A total of 388 women were included. The median time was of 41 days (interquartile range — IQR: 13.2–130.0); 34.3% delayed presentation at ≥ 90 days. After adjustment, the variables associated with a delay in presentation were frequency of gynaecological examination of over than 1 year (OR: 2.59, 95% CI: 1.67–4.05), no family history of breast cancer (OR: 1.96, 95% CI: 1.15–3.35), and income lower than the minimum wage (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.03–2.55). A higher score in tangible support (OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–0.99) was associated with a lesser chance of delay in presentation. Thus, delay in presentation was associated with social barriers, access to health service, health information and individual factors.
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Keywords: breast neoplasms; delayed diagnosis; health services accessibility epidemiology; healthcare disparities

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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