Background: The objective of this study was to bridge the knowledge gap and improve our understanding of the late presentation and management of breast cancer among South Asian women of non-oriental origin (SA) living in the United Kingdom.
Methods: Retrospective review of the breast cancer waiting list data-base held at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS trust was undertaken to identify SA women diagnosed with breast cancer from January 2000 to August 2007.
Results: We identified 41 (2.5%) SA women among 1,630 patients diagnosed with breast cancer during this period and 36 were included (median age = 53.5 years, range= 32-84). Only 19% (n=7) were screen detected and 81% (n=29) presented thorough symptomatic breast clinic. In the latter, 66% (n=19) were in the screening age group and 45% (n= 13) presented beyond 8 weeks (late presentation). In ourcohort, 91% (n=29) patients had advanced disease (TNM stage 2 and 3) resulting in a high mastectomy rate of 61% (n=22). 19% (n=7) died as a direct result of cancer and the remaining 78% (n=28) remains disease free following treatment thus far.
Conclusion: The delay in presentation and poor national breast screening programmeuptake among the SA women resulted in advanced disease at diagnosis. There is need for increasing the breast cancer awareness as well as encouraging breast screening among SA women in the UK.