Breast cancer in Latin America: Experts perceptions compared with medical care standards
Sociedad Latino Americana y del Caribe de Oncologia Medica, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)
(Impact Factor: 2.38).
11/2009; 19(1):50-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.breast.2009.10.011
The BCRF II study presents a systematic review of the norms, recommendations and guidelines that are considered medical care standards (MCS) for breast cancer in 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Three key questions from the BCRF I survey data on early detection and diagnosis are presented to identify implementation practice patterns related to MCS.
Information related to MCS was requested from governmental health authorities, cancer institutes, and national scientific and professional societies in 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Documents received were reviewed by breast cancer experts from each respective country. Three key survey questions from the BCRF I survey on early detection and diagnosis were reprocessed to provide information related to implementation practice of existing MCS. Results: All countries included in the BCRF II study had medical care standards (MCS) whether published by governmental authorities, national professional or scientific associations, cancer institutes, or adoption of international MCS. Experts reported different practice patterns at a Country level versus a Center level. Overall, 85% of the experts reported that less than 50% of the women with no symptoms undergo a mammography at the Country level compared to 43% at the Center level. For diagnostic suspicion of breast cancer, 80% of experts considered the diagnostic suspicion at a Country level to come from the patient compared to 50% at a Center level. About 30% of patients waited for more than 3 months for a diagnosis at the Country level compared to 7% at the Center level.
All the Latin America and Caribbean countries in the study reported the use of similar MCS for breast cancer care. The reported difference between care practiced at a Country level versus a Center level suggests the challenge is not in generating new MCS, but in implementing policies and control mechanisms for compliance with existing MCS, guaranteeing their applicability to all populations.
Available from: Luiz Gustavo Oliveira Brito
Available from: Robert A Smith
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ABSTRACT: The benefit of early breast cancer detection is the foundation for programs around the globe to reduce morbidity and mortality related to breast cancer. These programs range from educational programs targeted to women and health professionals to organized or opportunistic screening programs that target specific age groups of women. Modern mammography programs tend to follow the protocols from the randomized clinical trials, but there is variation in key program elements such as the age groups invited to screening, the screening interval, performance indicators, and the uptake rate. Until recently, the emphasis on early breast cancer detection was limited to mammography, but the steady rise in incidence and mortality in low and medium resource countries, where mammography may be unaffordable, has led to a renewal in emphasizing the incremental value of downsizing palpable tumors through physical exams. There is consensus that programs should be designed based on disease burden and available resources, but that even in low resource countries there are opportunities to reduce breast deaths through earlier diagnosis and effective treatment. Screening programs are most effective when they are organized, and program planners should consider WHO criteria and local input data as a basis for tailoring screening programs to the needs of their population.
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ABSTRACT: Most cases of breast cancer are diagnosed at early stage of disease; therefore, treatment is oriented to increase the disease-free interval (DFI) and overall survival (OS). The prognosis, in comparison with other malignancies, has improved in the last decades as a result of mammographic screening. The aim of the study was to report the incidence of local and distant recurrence, DFI and OS in patients (pts) with stage I and stage II breast cancer over a period of 26 years divided into three groups. From January 1978 to December 2004, 927 women with early breast cancer (EBC) were included, 350 were stage I and 577 Stage II (AJCC 2002). Patients were divided according to the year of diagnosis into three periods of 10 years: Group A (1978-1987) 135 pts, Group B (1988-1997) 412 pts, and Group C (1998-2004) 380 pts. DFI was analyzed from the date of initial diagnosis to the date of local or distant recurrence. OS was estimated from the date of initial diagnosis to the last follow-up or date of death. Median age was 51 years (28-92). Conservative surgery was performed in 69% of pts, adjuvant radiation therapy in 78%, adjuvant chemotherapy in 29%, and adjuvant hormone therapy in 18%. The median follow-up was 8.4 years (0.3-30). The mean tumor size in Group A was 2.7 cm, in Group B 2.2 cm, and in Group C 1.94 cm (p = 0.0001). The percentage of pts with stage I increased from 13% in Group A to 38% in Group B and to 47% in Group C (p = 0.0001). Local recurrence was documented in 5% of all pts, whereas 28% developed metastatic disease. The DFI and OS showed a statistically significant difference among the three groups (p = 0.005). DFI rate at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years was 71%, 67%, 65%, 65%, and 64%, respectively. OS at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years was 82%, 62%, 49%, 39%, and 28%, respectively. Factors that had an effect in OS demonstrated by the multivariate regression analysis were: Tumor size, ER status, and nodal involvement (p < 0.001). Clinical outcomes in EBC in our experience are similar to those reported in international literature. The DFI and OS showed a statistically significant difference among the three groups. This group of pts continues to have a good prognosis as shown by the OS rate at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years, although a high percentage of pts still to have recurrence and die from breast cancer after 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of follow-up.
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