Prevalence of Known Risk Factors in Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at Inmol Hospital, Lahore, Punjab


Background: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women worldwide and its frequency is increasing gradually in many countries. Over the last three decades an increase in the breast cancer has been witnessed in the earlier low-risk Asian countries including Pakistan. Purpose: The objective of the current study was to assess the prevalence of known risk factors like early menarche, late menopause, socio economic, reproductive and demographic factors, among women diagnosed with breast cancer at INMOL hospital, Lahore, Punjab, as little information exists in this regard. Materials and
Methods: A survey study was conducted on 200 women diagnosed with breast cancer who were seen at Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Oncology (INMOL) hospital, Lahore. A structured questionnaire was administered to these patients regarding the known risk factors through face to face interviews after obtaining appropriate consent.
Results: Regarding non-modifiable risk factors, our study showed that majority of the breast cancer patients were diagnosed at 35-45 years (32.5%) or at older age (≤46) and experienced menarche at 12 years or older (66 %). Likewise, a large number of patients reached menopause at the age of 45 years (60%), had no family and personal history of breast cancer (80%) and hence fell in a low risk category. Regarding modifiable risk factors in women diagnosed with breast cancer, most of the patients fell in low risk strata as the majority were married (98%) at young age, breastfed their children for 12 months or more (88%) and bore two to three children (80%). Considering income criteria, the majority of the patients had a low risk profile as they belonged to middle class (70%), urban area (60%) and were house wives (80%). However, it was noted that a considerable number of women (34%) diagnosed with breast cancer experienced menarche at an early age (<12) and reached menopause after the age of 45 years. This situation is further augmented by environmental changes and dietary habits and places them in a high risk category.