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Ten-year Survival Rates for Women of Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas, Diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1988–2002

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A total of 150 women from Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas, with cancer of the breast were followed up for 10 years post-diagnosis to assess survival rates, not only generally, but also by age and stage of disease at diagnosis, the presence or absence of axillary lymph node metastases, the treatment modalities received, and the diagnostic periods. The patients’ medical records and the death registers of the Medical Records Department of Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), Grand Bahama Island, supplemented with data from the ledgers of the Pathology Department of RMH and from The Bahamas’ national death register, were utilized. By Pearson Chi-square and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, females who were 40 years old or younger lived significantly longer (71.2% of whom for at least 10 years; mean: 213.8 months) than those who were older than 40 years (42.9% of whom for at least 10 years; mean: 167.9 months). The absence or presence of axillary lymph node metastases also had a bearing on survival, with 71.9% surviving at least 10 years (mean: 243.9 months) versus 32.7% (mean: 108.1 months) respectively. Despite the accepted importance of the diagnostic stage of disease, the small sample size obtained allowed only a limited assessment of the influence of staging on the survival rates. Neither the treatment received nor the diagnostic periods had any significant influence on the survival rates. The establishment of a national cancer registry in The Bahamas would alleviate the problems due to retrieval of information and aid in the better management and follow-up of cancer. Because of a relatively young age at diagnosis, consideration must also be given to beginning mammography screening of Bahamian women at an age below 40 years.

07 Sep, 2016
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e-Published: 14 Sep, 2016
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