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Longer Time Intervals from Diagnosis to Surgical Treatment in Breast Cancer: Associated Factors and Survival Impact

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Time interval (TI) from breast cancer diagnosis to definitive surgery is increasing, but the impact on outcomes is not well understood. TI longer than 30 days is associated with a greater chance of delay of chemotherapy, which may impact survival. We sought to identify factors associated with longer TI and the influence on outcome measures. Methods: We examined TI for stage 0-III breast cancer patients treated between 2006 and 2015 at a university-based cancer center. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to study factors associated with TI <30, 30 to 60, and >60 days. Kaplan‐Meier plots were used to examine the effect of different TI on overall survival, disease-specific survival, and recurrence-free survival. Results: 1589 patients were included with a median follow-up of 47 months. Median TI was 32 days. Median TI increased in patients from 2011 to 2015 compared with those from 2006 to 2010 (35 vs 30 days, P < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, mastectomy (with or without reconstruction), MRI use, and increasing age were independent predictors of TI >30 days . There were no significant differences in overall survival, disease-specific survival, or recurrence-free survival. There was no association between TI >30 days and a subsequent delay >60 days to adjuvant chemotherapy (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.72‐1.52). Conclusions: TI has increased in the last five years. Patient characteristics, tumor biology, and stage do not influence TI, whereas age, mastectomy, and MRI use were all associated with longer TI. Longer TI does not appear to significantly delay adjuvant chemotherapy or influence short-term outcomes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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