Pattern of Presentation and Adherence to Treatment in Young Breast Cancer Patients
Background: Breast cancer is believed to affect a disproportionate percentage of young females in the 3rd world. These women are outside the age range recommended for screening. Hence, breast cancer diagnosis in this group of women is not improved by population screening.
Objective: To examine the pattern of presentation and adherence to treatment of young patients with symptoms and signs of breast cancer.
Methodology: Prospective study of the pattern of presentation and adherence to treatment of patients aged 30years and below with breast cancer attending the breast clinic of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi from 2004 to 2008.
Results: Breast cancer was suspected in 275 patients of which 22 were aged 30years and below with a mean (SD) of 26.6 (3.14) years. Ten patients had advanced disease at presentation, while one patient discovered her breast lump by BSE. Only 5 accepted mastectomy, and 1 patient completed adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Conclusion: Breast cancers in the young in our locality present late as in the general population despite the increased educational attainments of the patients compared to their mothers. Acceptance of treatment and the likelihood of completing treatment are low.
Keywords: Biopsy, chemotherapy, mastectomy, multimodal, reconstruction