Purpose: The primary purpose of hospital-based cancer registries is assessing patient care. Clinical stage-based survival and treatment-based survival are some of the key parameters for such assessment. Because of the challenges in obtaining follow-up parameters, a separate study on patterns of care and survival was undertaken by the Indian National Cancer Registry Program. The results for cancer of the female breast are presented here.
Patients and methods: Data abstracted in a standardized patient information form were transmitted online to a central repository. Treatment patterns were assessed for 9,903 patients diagnosed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008, from 13 institutions. Survival analysis was restricted to 7,609 patients from nine institutions wherein follow-up details (as of December 31, 2012) were available for at least 60% of patients.
Results: The overall 5-year survival rates with breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and mastectomy (MS) were 94.0% and 85.8%, respectively, for stage II disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.40; 95% CI, 1.8 to 3.2) and 87.1% and 69.0%, respectively, for stage III disease (hazard ratio, 2.82; 95% CI, 2.2 to 3.7). Patients who had MS did better with systemic therapy (chemotherapy and/or hormone therapy), whereas patients with BCS required just local radiation therapy to achieve best survival.
Conclusion: This observational study in the natural setting of care of patients with cancer in India showed significantly decreased survival with MS when compared with BCS. The reasons for lower survival with MS and the biologic or scientific rationale of the necessity of systemic therapy to achieve optimal survival in patients undergoing MS but not in those with BCS need further investigation.