Survival and predictors of breast cancer mortality in South Ethiopia: A retrospective cohort study

Malekpour, M.-R. et al. (2023) Survival and predictors of breast cancer mortality in South Ethiopia: A retrospective cohort study. PLoS ONE, 18(3), e0282746. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0282746) (PMID:36877683) (PMCID:PMC9987816)

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Background: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in over 100 countries. In March 2021, the World Health Organization called on the global community to decrease mortality by 2.5% per year. Despite the high burden of the disease, the survival status and the predictors for mortality are not yet fully determined in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. Here, we report the survival status and predictors of mortality among breast cancer patients in South Ethiopia as crucial baseline data to be used for the design and monitoring of interventions to improve early detection, diagnosis, and treatment capacity. Methods: A hospital-based retrospective cohort study was conducted among 302 female breast cancer patients diagnosed from 2013 to 2018 by reviewing their medical records and telephone interviews. The median survival time was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis method. A log-rank test was used to compare the observed differences in survival time among different groups. The Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify predictors of mortality. Results are presented using the crude and adjusted as hazard ratios along with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Sensitivity analysis was performed with the assumption that loss to follow-up patients might die 3 months after the last hospital visit. Results: The study participants were followed for a total of 4,685.62 person-months. The median survival time was 50.81 months, which declined to 30.57 months in the worst-case analysis. About 83.4% of patients had advanced-stage disease at presentation. The overall survival probability of patients at two and three years was 73.2% and 63.0% respectively. Independent predictors of mortality were: patients residing in rural areas (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.71, 95% CI: 1.44, 5.09), travel time to a health facility ≥7 hours (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.42, 95% CI: 1.05, 11.10), those who presented within 7–23 months after the onset of symptoms (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.63, 95% CI: 1.22, 5.64), those who presented more than 23 months after the onset of symptoms (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.37, 95% CI: 1.00, 5.59), advanced stage at presentation (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.01, 95% CI: 1.05, 8.59), and patients who never received chemotherapy (adjusted hazard ratio = 6.69, 95% CI: 2.20, 20.30). Conclusion: Beyond three years after diagnosis, patients from southern Ethiopia had a survival rate of less than 60% despite treatment at a tertiary health facility. It is imperative to improve the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment capacities for breast cancer patients to prevent premature death in these women.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Funding: The study was funded by the School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia as part of a graduate studies program. The stipend for Sefonias Getachew as senior author was also supported by the Else-Kroener Foundation through Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, grant No. 2018_HA31SP.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Habte, Tsion Afework
Creator Roles:
Habte, T. A.Investigation, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Malekpour, M.-R., Shita, A., Yalew, A. W., Seife, E., Afework, T., Tesfaw, A., Gufue, Z. H., Rabe, F., Taylor, L., Kantelhardt, E. J., and Getachew, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 Shita et al
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 18(3):e0282746
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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