Delay in breast cancer diagnosis more likely in younger women.
A 1 month delay in primary tumor treatment increases the risk of axillary metastases by 0.9%, given a tumor-doubling time of 130 days.
A six month delay in primary tumor treatment increases the risk of axillary metastases by 5.1%, given a tumor doubling time of 130 days.
Studies suggest that for every week delay in diagnosis of treatment of breast cancer, mortality is increased over 1% (Khorana AA).
In Medicare patients the interval between presentation and surgery has been rising, from 21 days in 1992 to 32 days in 2005 (Bleicher RJ et al).
Longer time from diagnosis to breast surgery associated with a decline in overall survival and disease specific survival when adjusting for patient tumor and treatment factors (Bleicher RJ et al).
Women with breast cancer should start postoperative chemotherapy, when recommended, ideally within 4 months of their cancer diagnosis because new study findings show that waiting longer is associated with poorer overall survival.
The researchers looked at 172,043 records of patients with stages I-III breast cancer diagnosed between 2010 and 2014 who received both surgical removal of the cancer and adjunctive chemotherapy.
Patients who received preoperative chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or radiation therapy were excluded from the study.
The investigators defined a delay in chemotherapy as greater than 120 days from cancer diagnosis to the first dose of combination chemotherapy.
A delay in neoadjuvant systemic chemotherapy initiation of more than 61 days after breast cancer diagnosis is associated with an increased risk of death (Chavez-MacGregor)
An interval breast cancer refers to a breast cancer that arises in a patient with a negative result on a screening examination and before the next scheduled screening.
Typically an interval cancer is identified when patients recognize signs or symptoms such as a new palpable abnormality, breast discharge, or other changes in the breast that prompted medical care.