One-Third of Young Women With Breast Cancer Delay Care

Medical system factors for delays in care seen less often than patient factors
One-Third of Young Women With Breast Cancer Delay Care
Adobe Stock
Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

MONDAY, April 15, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A significant proportion of young women with breast cancer experience diagnostic delay, most often related to patient factors, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, held from April 6 to 10 in Orlando, Florida.

Katherine Fleshner, M.D., from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues evaluated the diagnostic timeline among a cohort of women aged 40 years and younger with breast cancer and identified predictors of diagnostic delay. The analysis included 1,148 patients followed for five years.

The researchers found that 36.8 percent of participants also had a first-degree relative with cancer. Most patients (89.0 percent) had a symptom prompting assessment, including, most commonly, a palpable mass (77.3 percent). Patients reported waiting a median of two weeks before seeking care, with one-third of participants experiencing a patient delay. Lack of concern, waiting a menstrual cycle, reassurance by another practitioner, difficulty accessing care, and competing priorities were reasons given for patient delays. Having a painful lump as the presenting symptom and having a first-degree relative with breast cancer were independent predictors of patient delay. In contrast, 10.1 percent of participants experienced a system delay. There were no independent predictors of system delay identified.

"Premenopausal breast cancer is uncommon, but accelerating the diagnostic timeline is extremely important," Fleshner said in a statement.

Press Release

More Information

Related Stories

No stories found.