Background: Data on the clinical profile of early breast cancer (EBC) from India is scant. Due to differences in genetics, environment, lifestyle, socio-demographic structure and ethnicity, the presentation and behavior of breast cancer in India may be different.
Aims: To analyze the clinical presentation and outcome of EBC patients.
Settings and design: A single center retrospective study.
Materials and methods: Data from 487 EBC patients registered and treated at our institute from 1993 through 1999 were analyzed. Cox's multivariate regression test was used to determine prognostic factors for overall and disease-free survival (OS & DFS).
Results: The median age was 47 years and 49.7% patients were pre-menopausal. Ninety-six per cent patients presented with a lump. Stages I, IIa, and IIb comprised 7.8%, 38.8%, and 47.6% respectively. Only 11.3% patients opted for breast-conserving surgery (BCS) while the remaining 88.7% underwent modified radical mastectomy (MRM). Adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to 275 (56.5%), and radiotherapy to 146 (29.9%). Estrogen receptor status was known in 173, of whom 93 (53.7%) were positive. Most patients were prescribed Tamoxifen for 5 years. At a median follow-up of 48 months, 126 (25.9%) patients had relapsed (systemic 107, loco-regional 19) and 94 (19.3%) had died. Five-year DFS and OS were 73% and 78%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, four positive nodes adversely influenced survival (P< 0.01).
Conclusions: The median age at presentation was 47 years, significantly lower than most Western figures. The majority (86.4%) had a lump size > two cm. BCS was done in only 11% and the rest underwent MRM. Nodal involvement was the significant prognostic factor.