Delay in Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer among Women Attending a Reference Service in Brazil

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Health Science, Faculty Post Graduate in Health Science, State University Maringa, Parana, Brazil.

2 Nursing Department,State University Maringa, Parana, Brazil.

3 Health Sciences, State University Maringa, Parana, Brazil.


Background: Cancer is a major public health problem. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for reducing mortality. This study aimed to analyze factors associated with delay in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment among women attending a reference cancer service. Methods: This retrospective, cross-sectional study was performed with data collected from medical records and interviews conducted with women diagnosed with breast cancer and treated from October 2013 to October 2014 at a cancer reference hospital in Paraná, Southern Brazil. Results: A total of 82 participants were enrolled during the study period; their average age was 58.2 ± 11.5 years. The average time taken for final diagnosis of breast cancer was 102.5 ± 165.5 days. Treatment onset was delayed in the majority of cases, and the average time elapsing from diagnostic biopsy to onset of primary treatment was 72.3 ± 54.0 days. The odds of treatment delay were higher among the women with a low educational level. Conclusions: The results underline the need for proposals aimed at early detection, identification of risk factors and timely provision of treatment by health managers that focus on this group.


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