Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya


Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya



Mastura Mujar 1 , Maznah D 2 , Yip CH 2 , Teh YC 2 , Ng CH 2 , Taib NA 2


1. Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2. University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Objectives: Delay in medical treatment for breast cancer patients is often associated with poorer survival. This study was done to explore the impact of treatment delay on survival in breast cancer patient.

Methods: Retrospective record review was done on 705 breast cancer cases of year 2004 to 2005 in University Malaya Medical Center (UMMC). Treatment interval was defined as the time between dates of pathological diagnosis to the date of primary treatment. Survival data were analyzed by using Kaplan-Meier for Univariate and Cox Regression for multivariate with significant level less than 0.05.

Results: Most patients received primary treatment within 24 days after diagnosis and commonly treated with surgery (82.4%) as their primary treatment. Treatment interval from diagnosis to surgery was 24 days (range 1-251 days), surgery to chemotherapy was 38 days (range 6-123 days), chemotherapy to radiotherapy was 146 days (range 80-265 days) and radiotherapy to hormonal was 22 days (range 1-78 days). Those were treated less than 3 months having 79.5% 5-years survival while those treated more than 3 months reduced survival to 55.0%. Univariate analysis showed that treatment interval, ethnicity, stage at diagnosis, grade, HER-2 status, ER/PR status and tumor size were significant with survival. Multivariate analysis showed that treatment interval, stage at diagnosis HER-2 and ER/PR status were significant prognostic factors. The hazard ratio of patients treated more than 3 months have 2.7 times mortality compared to those treated less than 3 months.

Conclusion: Treatment delay does affect survival after adjustment with other clinicopathological variables. Stage, HER-2 and ER/PR status remains the other important prognostic factors in this cohort of women.