Breast cancer patients in developing countries usually seek treatment at a more advanced-stage of disease. Delayed presentation is an important obstacle to improving cancer treatment outcomes.
A descriptive research study was conducted to explore factors influencing patient delay in seeking medical care among Egyptian women presenting with advanced breast cancer. Sixty one adult advanced breast cancer female patients were selected.
Two tools were used: Tool I: Structured interview questionnaire: It consists of 76 items and included six main parts; Part I: Sociodemographic characteristics of advanced breast cancer women (ABCW). Part II: Knowledge of patients about breast cancer, risk factors, and signs and symptoms, methods of breast cancer early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. Part III: Psychosocial and cultural beliefs about breast cancer. Part IV: Availability and accessibility to BC services. Part V: Symptoms related factors, and Part VI: Cancer stages among advanced breast cancer women. Tool II: Perception towards breast cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Revealed that, 32 of women (54.5%) of the study participants delayed for more than three months, 29 (47.5%) delayed for more than four months, the total delay was 57.4% among cancer stage III and 42.6%were among cancer stage IV.
Lack of knowledge about breast cancer, increase cost of BC screening and treatment, lack of health insurance system, psychosocial and cultural beliefs about breast cancer financial problems, and time constraints, and the availability and accessibility of breast cancer service are the main factors. Educational program is essential to increase females’ awareness towards breast cancer, and early detection. 2- Mass media should have a role in raising the awareness of the community. 3- Establishing strategies to able breast cancer patients to present early for treatment after being diagnosed.
Keywords: Factors Influencing, Delay, Medical Care, Advanced Breast Cancer - Mansoura University Egypt