Mediating Factors in Early Diagnosis of Breast Cancer: from Initial Changes in Health to Breast Cancer Detection

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Ardabil University of Medical Sciences, Ardabil, Iran.

3 Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Breast cancer is one of the most frequently occurring cancers in women throughout the world. In
Iran, according to available reports, 70% of patients with breast cancer are detected at the advanced stages of the
disease. Materials and Methods: This study is of descriptive-analytic cross-sectional type.160 female patients was
selected. The data in this study was collected via face to face interview using a questionnaire based on the Anderson’s
delay model. Data were analyzed using SPSS 22 and the significance level was considered to be 0.05. Results: The
results showed that presence of mass was the first symptom in many of women, i.e., 76 cases (47.5%). not only the
presence of mass in the breast, but also any other symptom, hadn’t been taken as a serious problem initially by women.
Non-improvement of the symptoms and exacerbation of the symptoms was considered as a symptom of illness by
patients. After considering the changes as the symptoms of illness, patients had tried to treat the disease through different
methods of self-treatment. The failure of the self-treatment in controlling the symptoms, had directed the patients
toward seeking for medical services. Out of 160 patients, 49 patients (39.6%) changed the time of their appointment
with doctor. 110 cases (68%) out of 160 patients, rather than initiating relevant diagnostic procedure related to the
disease, had received non-specific and non-related therapeutic measures. Conclusion: Pondering on the results yields
that patient-related delays, resulting from their lack of awareness of the disease, cultural factors, and fear, can only
play an important role in postponement of visiting a physician, but in the diagnosis of disease it is the inability of
general practitioners in performing differential diagnoses, and making request for related diagnostic measures which
can significantly increase the lag time until the onset of the main treatment.


Main Subjects