Article Subject

Background: There is increasing awareness and anxiety about breast cancer amongst rural women who present at our practice located in an area of limited resources.

Aims:  To determine the incidence of breast cancer in patients presenting in our service with  breast

lumps .               

Patients and methods: This is a retrospective work, reviewing the pathology reports  of breast biopsy specimens taken at Jasman Hospital, Udo, between 2001 and 2012. Patients whose pathology reports were unavailable were excluded. Information  gathered from the patient’s records  and analysed  included  age, sex, how lump was discovered, duration of symptoms , associated symptoms.

Results: Three hundred and seventy patients underwent breast biopsy  Two(0.5%)  were male and 368(99.45%) female, a ratio of 1:184. Patient’s ages ranged from 11 years to 80 years with a mean of 28.27 years (SD14.71 ). Histopathological reports were available in 348(94.1%). Cancer was present in 58 (16.75%) specimens and  312 (89.7%) were  benign , a ratio of 1:5 . Most biopsy specimens,227(61.4%),came from patients  under 30 years of age .The 31 to 50 age bracket had most, 38(65.5%) cases of cancer.  All lumps were discovered by patients themselves. Most (53.4%)  cancers were of the infiltrating ductal type, constituting 38 out of 58 cancers .


The number of patients presenting with breast lumps is low , judging by the number of years, but this represents the reality on ground. The  incidence of cancer in these lumps is also low.  Cancer was found at a much younger age group than commonly reported in western countries. A lump in the elderly is more likely to be cancerous than in the younger person. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma was the commonest histological type. Most  biopsy specimens were benign, being five times the cancerous ones.     

South East Nigeria
Article PDF
PDF (For Download)