Effects of Waiting Time and Biopsy Methods on Invasive Breast Cancer Survival
Keywords:biopsy, breast cancer, waiting time, survival
AbstractObjective: To examine the effects of the waiting time from biopsy to definitive surgery and the type of
biopsy method on invasive breast cancer survival.
Patients and Methods: Three hundred and fifty-nine medical records from women who were diagnosed
with unilateral, non-metastatic invasive breast cancer between January 2000 and December 2001 were reviewed.
Cox regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between the waiting time, biopsy method, and
overall as well as disease-free survival, adjusted for other clinical and pathological factors.
Results: Patients were 50 years old on the average; 80% had stage I-II disease. The median waiting time
was 1.9 weeks. Fifty-five percent of patients underwent definitive surgery within two weeks of biopsy. Excisional
biopsy or frozen section diagnosis was performed in 74% of patients. The 5-year overall survival was 90% and
5-year disease-free survival was 79%. There was no significant association between the waiting time and overall
survival or disease-free survival after adjusting for tumor stage. Core or fine needle biopsy was significantly
associated with better disease-free survival, but not with overall survival, for patients with stage I-II breast
Conclusion: The present study suggested that waiting time had minimal effects on breast cancer survival
whereas core- or fine-needle biopsy was associated with a better disease-free survival as compared with open
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