Low Breast Conserving Surgery (BCS) rates in public hospitals in Malaysia: The effect of stage and ethnicity.


Department of General Surgery, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) with radiation therapy is the procedure of choice for early-stage breast cancer. Survival and locoregional recurrence is non-inferior to mastectomy, with superior cosmetic and psycho-social outcomes. Differing health systems have demonstrated a wide variation in the rate of BCS. Little is known about the rate of BCS and factors influencing its practice in middle resource countries. This study aims to examine the BCS rates in Malaysia and to identify factors influencing its uptake.
METHODS : This is a multi-centre, cross-sectional study involving the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Queen Elizabeth II Hospital (QEH), and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (TARH). Patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from January 2014 to December 2015 were included, excluding stromal cancers and lymphomas. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified factors influencing BCS.
RESULTS : A total of 1005 patients were diagnosed with breast cancer in the allocated time frame. Excluding incomplete records and those who did not have surgery, 730 patients were analysed. Overall BCS rate was 32.9%. The BCS rate was highest at QEH (54.1%), followed by UMMC (29.5%), and TARH (17.4%). 16.9% had BCS after neoadjuvant therapy. Factors influencing BCS uptake included age, ethnic group, breast-surgeon led services, AJCC Stage, tumour size, HER-2 expression, and tumour grade.
CONCLUSIONS : The rate of BCS in Malaysia is low. A wide variation of rate exists among the studied hospitals. Younger age, earlier AJCC stage, and the presence of a Breast sub-specialist surgeon, would make it more likely that the patient has her breast conserved.


Breast cancer,Breast conserving surgery,Ethnicity,Mastectomy,Stage,

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