Aim: To determine the pattern of breast diseases among Saudi patients who underwent breast biopsy, with special emphasis on breast carcinoma.
Methods: A retrospective review was made of all breast biopsy reports of a mass or lump from male and female patients seen between January 2001 and December 2010 at the King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Results: Of 1035 breast tissues reviewed, 939 specimens (90.7%) were from female patients. There were 690 benign (65.8%) and 345 (34.2%) malignant cases. In women, 603 (64.2%) specimens were benign and 336 (35.8%) were malignant. In men, 87 specimens (90.6%) were benign and 9 (9.4%) were malignant. All malignant cases from male patients belonged to invasive ductal carcinoma and the majority of malignant cases from female patients belonged to invasive/infiltrating ductal carcinoma. The proportion of malignancy was 18% in patients younger than 40 years and 63.2% in patients older than 60 years. The mean age of onset for malignancy was 48.6 years. The annual percentage incidence of malignant breast cancer steadily increased by 4.8%, from an annual rate of 23.5% in 2000 to 47.2% in 2007.
Conclusion: Among Saudi patients, there is a significant increase in the incidence of breast cancer, which occurs at an earlier age than in western countries. Continued vigilance, mammographic screening, and patient education are needed to establish early diagnosis and perform optimal treatment.