The journey of breast cancer patient from self-perception of breast abnormalities to first cancer treatment- a sectional study in Sul Fluminense region-RJ-Brazil

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Heloisa Resende Vinícius Q Aguiar Luiz F P Jacob Angélica L C A Renó Ana P Cunha Biazi Ricieri Assis Viviane L Pereira Leticia B Tureta Layza V Eler Matheus H Oliveira Matheus R Montenegro Lucas R Pereira Felipe S Teixeira Igor C Soares


Breast cancer is the most common female neoplasm in Brazil accounting for 73.610 new cases a year. The organization of public health system is a critical point to provide diagnosis and treatment for these patients, considering that 75% of the population is covered by public health system (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS). Waiting time for diagnosis procedures and treatment has been used to evaluate accessibility to the health system and can guide governmental strategies to improve them. A retrospective study was conducted by assessing medical records of all patients registered at a High Complexity Oncology Assistance Unit (Unidade de Alta Complexidade em Oncologia, UNACON). The patients registered in the period from October 2021 to September 2022 were included.  The medical report was used to collect epidemiological, clinicopathologic data, and main waiting times for diagnosis procedures and treatment. There were registered 143 patients, mean age was 57.6 years (SD±12,6). Symptoms detected cancer was the majority with 112 patients (86,8%). Median waiting times:  1-from breast abnormalities self-perception to first image exam was 60 days; 2-waiting time from the exam to core biopsy was 41,5 days; 3-waiting time from the biopsy to report liberation of biopsy was 11.0 days; 4-waiting time from biopsy report to first visit at oncologic care unit was 31.0 days; 4-waiting time from the oncologic care unit first visit to first treatment was 55.0 days; 5-waiting time from the breast biopsy to treatment beginning was 97.0 days. Our study demonstrates long waiting time from diagnosis to first treatment (above 60 days as established by Brazilian law) and long waiting time spending with each step of journey from the breast abnormalities self-detected to treatment beginning. Integration among basic, secondary and high complexity units, and clear strategies to guide patients with self-detected symptoms are points to be target.

Keywords: breast cancer

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How to Cite
RESENDE, Heloisa et al. The journey of breast cancer patient from self-perception of breast abnormalities to first cancer treatment- a sectional study in Sul Fluminense region-RJ-Brazil. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 10, oct. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 11 dec. 2023. doi:
Research Articles


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