Peripheral blood-derived inflammation-based scores such as the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have recently been proposed as prognostic markers in solid tumours. Although evidence to support these markers as unfavourable prognostic factors is more compelling in gastrointestinal cancers, very little is known of their impact on breast cancer. We investigated the association between the NLR and PLR, and overall survival after breast cancer.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/blood; Breast Neoplasms/physiopathology*
The incidence and mortality of breast cancer continues to rise rapidly in Asian countries. However, most of our current knowledge on breast cancer has been generated in Western populations. As the socio-economic profile, life style and culture of Asian and Western women are substantially different, and genetic backgrounds vary to some extent, we need to answer the question on whether to 'adopt' or 'adapt' Western knowledge before applying it in the Asian setting. It is generally accepted that breast cancer risk factors, which have mainly been studied in Western populations are similar worldwide. However, the presence of gene-environment or gene-gene interactions may alter their importance as causal factors across populations. Diagnostic and prognostic study findings, including breast cancer prediction rules, are increasingly shown to be 'setting specific' and must therefore be validated in Asian women before implementing them in clinical care in Asia. Interventional research findings from Caucasian patients may not be applicable in patients in Asia due to differences in tumour biology/profiles, metabolism of drugs and also health beliefs which can influence treatment acceptance and adherence. While breast cancer research in Asia is warranted in all domains of medical research, it is felt that for Asian breast cancer patients, needs are highest for diagnostic and prognostic studies. International clinical trials meanwhile need to include breast cancer patients from various Asian settings to provide an insight into the effectiveness of new treatment modalities in this part of the world.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis; Breast Neoplasms/etiology*
This study describes weight changes experienced by Malaysian women with breast cancer. Women with breast cancer (n=368) were recruited from eight hospitals and four breast cancer support groups in Peninsular Malaysia. Current weight was measured and weight at the time of diagnosis and a year preceding diagnosis were based on self-reports. Change in weight was determined from the year preceding breast cancer diagnosis to study entry (time 1), at the time of diagnosis to study entry (time 2) and from a year preceding breast cancer diagnosis to the time of diagnosis (time 3). Current body mass index, at a year preceding diagnosis and at the time of diagnosis were determined. Waist circumference was also measured. The sample comprised 57% Malay, 34% Chinese and 9.8% Indian women. The mean age of the women was 54 ∓ 9.04 years and over 80% were post-menopausal. Majority of the women were in stage I and stage II breast cancer at the time of diagnosis. The most common treatments received by these women were chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy and mastectomy. Overweight and obesity were prevalent in over 40% of the survivors at all three periods. Significant weight changes were observed during time 1 (-0.74 ∓ 4.78kg, p< 0.001), time 2 (2.73 ∓ 8.06kg, p< 0.001) and time 3 (3.47 ∓ 7.53kg, p< 0.001). At time 1, almost 50% showed no changes in their weight. At time 2, nearly two-thirds had gained weight and at time 3, 69% had gained weight, abdominal obesity was observed in nearly two-thirds of the women at study entry. A significant difference in weight change among age groups was observed in time 2 and time 3. All ethnic groups had significant weight change in time 1 and time 2. Significant weight gain was observed in relation to body mass index prior to diagnosis, at diagnosis and at study entry. However, no significant difference in weight change by educational level, family history of cancer and cancer stages were observed in all 3 periods. In conclusion, significant weight gain was evident in this sample of women after diagnosis of breast cancer and treatment. Women with breast cancer should be encouraged to maintain normal body mass index and waist circumference through appropriate diet and regular physical activity which may help to reduce their risk of recurrence, secondary cancer and metastasis.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/physiopathology*; Breast Neoplasms/therapy*
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women in Malaysia. Delayed diagnosis is preventable and has major effects on patients' prognosis and survival. The objectives of our study were to identify the magnitude of delayed diagnosis and its associated factors in women with breast cancer in Malaysia.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis*; Breast Neoplasms/pathology
This paper validates the Brief COPE Scale in Malaysian women with breast cancer. Test-retest evaluation was undertaken at two/three weeks and ten weeks following surgery. Internal consistencies ranged from 0.25 to 1.00. Meanwhile, the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) ranged from 0.05 to 1.00. Sensitivity of the scale was indicated by the mean differences as observed in most of the domains with Effect Size Index (ESI) ranged from 0 to 0.53. Significant differences between mastectomy and lumpectomy were observed for Active coping, Planning and Acceptance. Brief COPE Scale showed fairly good reliability and validity.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy; Breast Neoplasms/psychology*
Overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor-related gene ErbB2 occurs in 18% to 25% of patients with breast cancer in Western countries and is associated with a poor prognosis. The prevalence of ErbB2-positive tumors in Asia is unclear, partly because data are limited. The objective of this review was to summarize the reported prevalence of ErbB2-positive tumors from a large sample of Asian patients and to examine ErbB2 assessment methods in Asia. From searches of MEDLINE, local language journals, and local and international conference proceedings as well as locoregional breast cancer experts' recommendations, the authors selected up to 5 studies each from India, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand that reported ErbB2 results based on assessment with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The reported prevalence of ErbB2-positive tumors in 22 studies on 24,671 patients, of whom 14,398 patients were assessed for ErbB2 status, varied widely (range, 6%-65%) as did the assessment methods used. Most studies (n=21) used IHC to assess ErbB2 status, but definitions for positivity varied. When robust assessment methods were used, the median prevalence was 19% based on strong IHC staining (IHC3+; n=9812 patients) and 25% based on FISH (n=681 patients). Data on the prevalence of ErbB2-positive breast cancer in Asia are limited. The current survey indicated that the prevalence in Asia may be similar to that in Western countries; thus, up to 1 in 4 Asian patients with breast cancer potentially could benefit from ErbB2-targeted treatment. A standard, reliable ErbB2 assessment method available to patients across Asia is urgently required.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/genetics*; Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology*
Naturalistic inquiry using focus group interviews was undertaken to explore experiences and perceived barriers to self management in women with breast cancer. The aim was to identify their perceived barriers to self management to aid the development of rehabilitation programmes. Successful programmes are strongly linked to patients' perceived needs. Four focus groups consisted of 39 women, were purposively recruited. Women's needs within the three areas of medical, emotional and role management of breast cancer were explored. The main barriers were unavailability of information, inability to access services-and-support, and socioeconomic-cultural issues (entrenched myths, low-socioeconomic status, and inadequate insurance-health legislative coverage). The findings provide the critically lacking 'expert-view' of survivors, who verified the importance of the medical, emotional and role management tasks, and highlighted barriers and structural solutions. With breast cancer becoming recognised as a form of chronic illness, this study is timely.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/psychology; Breast Neoplasms/therapy*
Breast lesions with a significant spindle cell or mesenchymal component are not commonly encountered in fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytologic material and include a heterologous variety of benign and malignant conditions, with phyllodes tumors (PTs) being the foremost differential diagnostic consideration. This study comprises 28 tumors diagnosed histologically as PT in which FNAC material was available for review. Histological sections and cytological smears from these cases were retrieved and subjected to detailed morphological review. Cytological parameters assessed included ratio of stroma to epithelium, pattern characteristics and cytological characteristics of the stromal, and epithelial components and the background cells. Large and hypercellular stroma fragments, dissociated spindle and plump stromal cells, often accompanied by large, folded sheets of epithelium were cytological features that characterized PT. Smears from malignant PT showed predominantly or solely mesenchymal components. FNAC was a highly reliable procedure for the diagnosis of PT, giving an accuracy rate of 92.8%.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/pathology*; Breast Neoplasms/surgery
Multi-elemental quantitative analyses of 15 paired samples of normal and malignant human breast tissue by instrumental neutron activation analysis are reported. The elements, Al, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cs, Fe, K, Na, Rb, Zn were detected. Significantly elevated concentration levels were found for Al, Br, Ca, Cl, Cs, K, Na, Zn in malignant compared to normal tissue. Although the role of elemental composition in breast cancer is unclear, this finding may be of importance as another parameter for differentiating normal from malignant tissue.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/pathology; Breast Neoplasms/chemistry*
BACKGROUND: Bone mineral density (BMD) is a lifetime marker of estrogen in a woman's body and has been associated with increased breast cancer risk. Nonetheless the actual association is still debatable. Furthermore, estrogen is very crucial in maintaining human bone density and gradually decreases over age. A systematic search was conducted to assess any association of BMD with breast cancer risk factors among premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Review identification was performed through databases searching on MEDLINE, CINAHL and SCOPUS and 19 qualified studies were elected. The keywords used were "bone mineral density", "breast cancer", and "breast density".
RESULTS: A total of 19 articles showed variation with the majority of the studies focused on postmenopausal and a few focused on premenopausal women. Overall there was no concensus on effects.
CONCLUSIONS: An enormous effort is being undertaken by researchers to prove that BMD might be one of the significant risk factors for breast cancer.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/etiology*; Breast Neoplasms/pathology
Worldwide breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. For many years clinicians and the researchers are examining and exploring various therapeutic modalities for breast cancer. Yet the disease has remained unconquered and the quest for cure is still going on. Present-day strategy of breast cancer therapy and prevention is either combination of a number of drugs or a drug that modulates multiple targets. In this regard natural products are now becoming significant options. Curcumin exemplifies a promising natural anticancer agent for this purpose. This review primarily underscores the modulatory effect of curcumin on the cancer hallmarks. The focus is its anticancer effect in the complex pathways of breast carcinogenesis. Curcumin modulates breast carcinogenesis through its effect on cell cycle and proliferation, apoptosis, senescence, cancer spread and angiogenesis. Largely the NFkB, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, MAPK and JAK/STAT are the key signaling pathways involved. The review also highlights the curcumin mediated modulation of tumor microenvironment, cancer immunity, breast cancer stem cells and cancer related miRNAs. Using curcumin as a therapeutic and preventive agent in breast cancer is perplexed by its diverse biological activity, much of which remains inexplicable. The information reviewed here should point toward potential scope of future curcumin research in breast cancer.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy*; Breast Neoplasms/pathology
Tumor cytogenetic analysis from 27 patients with breast cancer diagnosed at the Singapore General Hospital revealed complex karyotypic aberrations in 12 cases. The study group comprised 25 women and 2 men, ranging in age from 33 to 78 years (median 52 years). Ethnic distribution consisted of 22 Chinese, 3 Malaysian, and 2 Indian patients. Pathologic assessment disclosed 24 invasive ductal, 2 invasive mucinous, and 1 mixed invasive mucinous and ductal carcinomas. Histologic grading showed 3 grade 1, 10 grade 2, and 12 grade 3 tumors; 2 cancers were not graded, because they had been subjected to prior chemotherapy. Tumor sizes ranged from 1.5 to 10 cm (median 3 cm). Eleven cases were axillary node negative, whereas the remaining 16 node-positive cancers affected as many as 3 nodes in 8 cases and 4 or more nodes in another 8. Twenty cases demonstrated estrogen-receptor positivity, and 8 cases progesterone-receptor positivity. The spectrum of cytogenetic abnormalities involved chromosomes 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 16, and 17 and ranged from gains and deletions of both long and short arms, trisomy, monosomy, and other rearrangements. There was a trend toward the presence of karyotypic abnormalities in tumors of higher grade.
Matched MeSH terms: Breast Neoplasms/genetics*; Breast Neoplasms/pathology*; Breast Neoplasms, Male/genetics*; Breast Neoplasms, Male/pathology*
Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005), an index-based dietary pattern, has been shown to predict the risk of chronic diseases among Americans. This study aims to examine the ability of HEI-2005 in predicting the probability for risk of premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer among Malaysian women. Data from a case-control nutritional epidemiology study among 764 participants including 382 breast cancer cases and 382 healthy women were extracted and scored. Multivariate odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to evaluate the relationship between the risk of breast cancer and quartiles (Q) of HEI-2005 total scores and its component, whereas the risk prediction ability of HEI-2005 was investigated using diagnostics analysis. The results of this study showed that there is a significant reduction in the risk of breast cancer, with a higher HEI-2005 total score among premenopausal women (OR Q1 vs. Q4=0.34, 95% CI; 0.15-0.76) and postmenopausal women (OR Q1 vs. Q4=0.20, 95% CI; 0.06-0.63). However, HEI-2005 has a sensitivity of 56-60%, a specificity of 55-60%, and a positive predictive value and negative predictive value of 57-58%, which indicates a moderate ability to predict the risk of breast cancer according to menopausal status. The breast cancer incidence observed poorly agrees with risk outcomes from HEI-2005 as shown by low κ statistics (κ=0.15). In conclusion, although the total HEI-2005 scores were associated with a risk of breast cancer among Malaysian women, the ability of HEI-2005 to predict risk is poor as indicated by the diagnostic analysis. A local index-based dietary pattern, which is disease specific, is required to predict the risk of breast cancer among Malaysian women for early prevention.
Skin-sparing mastectomy is still in its infancy in Malaysia. The option of skin-sparing mastectomy is rarely given to patients as many general surgeons perform the conventional mastectomy. This could also be compounded by the lack of awareness amongst the local surgeons on the safety, surgical technique and treatment outcome of this relatively new procedure. This case report demonstrates the feasibility of this procedure performed on a Malaysian patient with a comparable outcome of those reported in the Western countries.
A total of 676 palpable breast lumps seen in the Breast Clinic, University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur from August 1993 to August 1994 were subjected to fine needle aspiration cytology. Fifty-four were reported as inadequate, 501 benign, 95 malignant and 26 suspicious. One hundred and eighty-seven aspirates had histological correlation, while 34 of the malignant aspirates had clinical correlation. The majority of the other 455 patients were followed up for a period of 60 to 72 months without any malignancies becoming apparent. For analysis, only the 221 cases with histological or clinical correlation were included, (the suspicious category was included into the positive group and the inadequate cases were excluded), giving a sensitivity of 91.7%, a specificity of 91.7% and a diagnostic accuracy of 91.7%. Breast cytology was an accurate and rapid method of diagnosis of breast diseases, and in a busy surgical unit with limited operating time, it allowed for the triage of patients with breast complaints in deciding which cases needed early open biopsy. A negative cytology does not exclude the possibility of cancer, as there was a false negative rate of 11%. However by utilising a diagnostic triad of clinical examination, radiological assessment and fine needle aspiration cytology, the risk of missing a malignancy is small.
This communication describes the quantitative and qualitative analysis of oestrogen receptors in breast tumour biopsies of Malaysian patients. This preliminary investigation establishes certain rigid criteria that makes possible the classification of patients most likely to respond to hormonal therapy. 20 percent of the patients had oestrogen receptor positive tumours while 60 percent were oestrogen receptor negative.