METHODS: We established PN in a dedicated breast clinic of a Malaysian state-run hospital. We compared diagnostic and treatment timeliness between navigated patients (n = 135) and patients diagnosed in the prior year (n = 148), and described factors associated with timeliness.
RESULTS: Women with PN received timely mammography compared with patients in the prior year (96.4% v 74.4%; P < .001), biopsy (92.5% v 76.1%; P = .003), and communication of news (80.0% v 58.5%; P < .001). PN reduced treatment default rates (4.4% v 11.5%; P = .048). Among navigated patients, late stage at presentation was independently associated with having emotional and language barriers ( P = .01). Finally, the main reason reported for delay, default, or refusal of treatment was the preference for alternative therapy.
CONCLUSION: PN is feasible for addressing barriers to cancer care when integrated with a state-run breast clinic of an LMIC. Its implementation resulted in improved diagnostic timeliness and reduced treatment default. Wider adoption of PN could be a key element of cancer control in LMICs.
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted using breast cancer data from the Kelantan Cancer Registry between 2007 and 2011, and Kelantan general population mortality data. The breast cancer cases were followed up for 5 years until 2016. Out of 598 cases, 549 cases met the study criteria and were included in the analysis. Modelling of excess mortality was conducted using Poisson regression.
RESULTS: Excess mortality of breast cancer varied according to age group (50 years old and below vs above 50 years old, Adj. EHR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.31, 4.09; P = 0.004), ethnicity (Malay vs non-Malay, Adj. EHR: 2.31; 95% CI: 1.11, 1.96; P = 0.008), and stage (stage III and IV vs. stage I and II, Adj. EHR: 5.75; 95% CI: 4.24, 7.81; P
OBJECTIVES: This narrative review aimed to understand and evaluate the level of in-depth breast cancer knowledge in terms of clinical breast examination and breast self-examination, and other important aspects such as side-effects and risk factors in Malaysian females. Since Malaysia is multicultural, this review assessed social perceptions, cultural beliefs and help-seeking behaviour in respect to breast cancer among different ethnic groups, since these may impinge on efforts to 'avoid' the disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search of seven databases was performed from December 2015 to January 2015. Screening of relevant published journals was also undertaken to identify available information related to the knowledge, perception and help-seeking behaviour of Malaysian women in relation to breast cancer.
RESULTS: A total of 42 articles were appraised and included in this review. Generally, women in Malaysia had good awareness of breast cancer and its screening tools, particularly breast self-examination, but only superficial in-depth knowledge about the disease. Women in rural areas had lower levels of knowledge than those in urban areas. It was also shown that books, magazines, brochures and television were among the most common sources of breast cancer information. Delay in presentation was attributed mainly to a negative social perception of the disease, poverty, cultural and religion practices, and a strong influence of complementary and alternative medicine, rather than a lack of knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS: This review highlighted the need for an intensive and in-depth breast cancer education campaigns using media and community health programmes, even with the existing good awareness of breast cancer. This is essential in order to avoid misconceptions and to frame the correct mind-set about breast cancer among women in Malaysia. Socio-cultural differences and religious practices should be taken into account by health care professionals when advising on breast cancer. Women need to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer so that early diagnosis can take place and the chances of survival improved.
METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at two outpatient chemotherapy centers. A total of 546 patients completed the questionnaires on CAM use. QOL was evaluated based on the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) core quality of life (QLQ-C30) and breast cancer-specific quality of life (QLQ-BR23) questionnaires.
RESULTS: A total of 70.7% of patients were identified as CAM users. There was no significant difference in global health status scores and in all five subscales of the QLQ C30 functional scales between CAM users and non-CAM users. On the QLQ-C30 symptom scales, CAM users (44.96±3.89) had significantly (p = 0.01) higher mean scores for financial difficulties than non-CAM users (36.29±4.81). On the QLQ-BR23 functional scales, CAM users reported significantly higher mean scores for sexual enjoyment (6.01±12.84 vs. 4.64±12.76, p = 0.04) than non-CAM users. On the QLQ-BR23 symptom scales, CAM users reported higher systemic therapy side effects (41.34±2.01 vs. 37.22±2.48, p = 0.04) and breast symptoms (15.76±2.13 vs. 11.08±2.62, p = 0.02) than non-CAM users. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that the use of CAM modality was not significantly associated with higher global health status scores (p = 0.71).
CONCLUSION: While the findings indicated that there was no significant difference between users and non-users of CAM in terms of QOL, CAM may be used by health professionals as a surrogate to monitor patients with higher systemic therapy side effects and breast symptoms. Furthermore, given that CAM users reported higher financial burdens (which may have contributed to increased distress), patients should be encouraged to discuss the potential benefits and/or disadvantages of using CAM with their healthcare providers.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed at two chemotherapy providers. Patients were questioned about use of three categories of CAM, mind-body practices (MBPs), natural products (NPs) and traditional medicine (TM). PFH was also examined separately from CAM to better characterise the patterns of CAM and PFH used during chemotherapy.
RESULTS: A total of 546 eligible patients participated in the study; 70.7% (n = 386) reported using some form of CAM, and 29.3% (n = 160) were non-CAM users. When PFH was excluded as a CAM, fewer patients reported the use of CAM (66.1%; n = 361). The total number of patients who used MBPs decreased from 342 to 183. The most common CAM use category was NPs (82.8%), followed by MBPs (50.7%), and TM (35.7%). CAM users were more likely to have a tertiary education (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.15-3.89 vs. primary/lower), have household incomes > RM 3,000 (≈944 USD) per month (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.40-3.84 vs. ≤RM 3,000 (≈944 USD)), and have advanced cancer (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.18-2.59 vs. early stage cancer), compared with non-CAM users. The CAM users were less likely to have their chemotherapy on schedule (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.10-0.58 vs. chemotherapy postponed) than non-CAM users. Most MBPs were perceived to be more helpful by their users, compared with the users of NPs and TM.
CONCLUSION: CAM use was prevalent among breast cancer patients. Excluding PFH from the definition of CAM reduced the prevalence of overall CAM use. Overall, CAM use was associated with higher education levels and household incomes, advanced cancer and lower chemotherapy schedule compliance. Many patients perceived MBP to be beneficial for improving overall well-being during chemotherapy. These findings, while preliminary, clearly indicate the differences in CAM use when PFH is included in, and excluded from, the definition of CAM.
METHODS: Using Singapore Malaysia Hospital-Based Breast Cancer Registry, clinical information was retrieved from 7064 stage I to III breast cancer patients who were diagnosed between 1990 and 2011 and underwent surgery. Predicted and observed probabilities of positive nodes and survival were compared for each subgroup. Calibration was assessed by plotting observed value against predicted value for each decile of the predicted value. Discrimination was evaluated by area under a receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) with 95 % confidence interval (CI).
RESULTS: The median predicted probability of positive lymph nodes is 40.6 % which was lower than the observed 43.6 % (95 % CI, 42.5 %-44.8 %). The calibration plot showed underestimation for most of the groups. The AUC was 0.71 (95 % CI, 0.70-0.72). Cancermath predicted and observed overall survival probabilities were 87.3 % vs 83.4 % at 5 years after diagnosis and 75.3 % vs 70.4 % at 10 years after diagnosis. The difference was smaller for patients from Singapore, patients diagnosed more recently and patients with favorable tumor characteristics. Calibration plot also illustrated overprediction of survival for patients with poor prognosis. The AUC for 5-year and 10-year overall survival was 0.77 (95 % CI: 0.75-0.79) and 0.74 (95 % CI: 0.71-0.76).
CONCLUSIONS: The discrimination and calibration of CancerMath were modest. The results suggest that clinical application of CancerMath should be limited to patients with better prognostic profile.
METHODS: A convenience sample of 135 Malaysian women with breast cancer completed questionnaires measuring uncertainty in illness, mood states (i.e. anxiety and depression), quality of life, and copying styles.
RESULTS: The results showed an inverse correlation between uncertainty and quality of life after controlling for the effects of age, cancer stage and time since diagnosis. Moreover, the negative association between illness uncertainty and quality of life was mediated by coping strategies and mood states.
CONCLUSION: The findings revealed that breast cancer patients experiencing a high level of uncertainty more likely use avoidant and less likely use active emotional coping strategies which in turn amplifies anxiety and depression and undermines their quality of life. While some interventions to reduce the adverse consequences of uncertainty are recommended, the findings indicated the need for targeted psychological interventions seeking to gradually shift cancer patients' coping strategies from avoidant to active emotional coping.