Descriptive Study on Selected Risk Factors and Histopathology of Breast Carcinoma in a Tertiary Care Centre in Kerala, India with Special Reference to Women Under 40 Years Old


Background: Breast cancer is the most common female cancer in Kerala, South India, with the incidenceincreasing in the past two decades, also in young women. However, there are limited data regarding the burdenof disease, its epidemiology and histopathological characteristics in the state. Materials and
Methods: Thisdesciptive study covered 303 breast cancers evaluated during the period of December 2011 to August 2013 in theDepartment of Pathology, Government Medical College, Kottayam.The patients were also interviewed regardingselected risk factors.
Results: The majority of the cases were 41-60 years of age with a mean at presentation of53 years. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma was the most common subtype, followed by pure mucinous carcinomaand then lobular carcinoma. Of the cases, 6.6% were nullipara and 52.8% had fewer than or equal to 2 children.Median age at first child birth was 23 years (national value-19.8 years). A significant proportion (15%) hadfamily history of breast cancer. Some 13.5%(41 cases) comprised the young breast cancer group (≤40years)with a mean age at first child birth in them was 27.4 years, 5 being nullipara and 6 having a positive familyhistory.
Conclusions: Breast cancer awareness, better availability of screening techniques and identification andtargeting high risk groups all help to tackle the increasing load of breast carcinoma. A good proportion of casescomprised the young breast cancer group (under 40). Younger women should thus also be educated about breastcarcinoma-risk factors, symptoms and diagnostic techniques to help in early detection and effective approachesto treatment.