Socio-demographic factors, health behavior and late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer in Germany: a population-based study

J Clin Epidemiol. 2001 Jul;54(7):719-27. doi: 10.1016/s0895-4356(00)00351-6.


Late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with poor survival. Identification of individuals at high risk of late-stage diagnosis could be an effective step to reduce breast cancer mortality. We examined the association of socio-demographic factors and health behavior with breast cancer stage in a population-based sample of 380 female breast cancer patients in Saarland, Germany. Overall, 182 women (47.9%) were diagnosed with late-stage (regional or distant) breast cancer. After control for potential confounding by multivariate logistic regression, an increased risk of late-stage diagnosis was observed for older age (OR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.0-3.2), foreign nationality (OR = 3.9; 95% CI 0.7-20.8), living in large households (OR = 1.7; 95% CI 1.0-2.9), non-participation in general health check-up (OR = 1.5; 95% CI 0.9-2.4) and low interest in health care (OR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.0-2.7). The proportion of late-stage cancer was clearly decreased when tumors were detected by screening (OR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.2-0.8). Certain socio-demographic factors and characteristics of health behavior seem to represent independent risk indicators of late-stage diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Time Factors