Clinicopathologic Characteristics of Breast Cancer in Jamaica


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Jamaican women. This study assessed the clinicopathologicfeatures of cases in a hospital-based specialist clinic in Kingston, Jamaica. A retrospective chart review wasperformed for the 2-year study period and relevant clinical and surgico-pathologic data were recorded andanalyzed. Median age of the 121 breast cancer patients was 52 years (range 22-84, IQR 20) and there was 1 caseof male breast cancer. Most patients (65%) were referred from the surgical service after definitive breast cancersurgery, 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 majorityhad presented with a palpable breast lump (91%), with median tumour size 3.5cm (range 0.4-13, IQR 4). Mosttumours were node positive (56%). Approximately one-third of patients had stage III disease (33%). Most womenpresented with large palpable tumours and had lymph node involvement confirmed on surgicopathologicalevaluation, indicative of limited early breast cancer detection. A national screening mammography programmeis recommended for detection of earlier lesions. Pre-operative systemic therapy should be considered as an optionfor eligible patients.