Factors leading to delayed and challenging presentation of benign breast lumps in young females

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Saleem S., Tariq S., Tariq S., Irfan S., Javed F.

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, vol.39, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.12669/pjms.39.1.6647
  • Journal Name: Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Benign Breast disease, Fibroadenoma, Hypertrophy, Social Isolation, Social Stigma
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: No


Background and Objective: A delayed presentation of benign breast diseases may lead to a therapeutic challenge when they enlarge enormously or become multiple. Aim of this study was to evaluate the factors leading to delayed presentation of benign breast lumps. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Madinah Teaching Hospital and Allied Hospital, Faisalabad from January 2019 to October 2021. One hundred and forty five female patients were selected by non-probability purposive sampling. Patients with large size (>5cm) or multiple benign breast lumps were included. An interview was conducted using structured questionnaire translated in Urdu. Factors leading to delayed presentation and social impact scale for stigma were evaluated. Results: Patients had a mean age of 26.52 ± 6.90 years. The average delay of seeking medical care was 8.48 ± 8.41 months. Factors leading to delayed presentation were; lack of knowledge n=112 (77.2%) and parda (religious issues) n=112 (77.2%), followed by poverty n=109 (75.2%), and fear of cancer n=90 (62.1%). All the sub-scales of stigma, i.e., social rejection, financial insecurity, internalized shame and social isolation were high in late presenters, though, only financial insecurity was significantly high in late presenters (p=0.03). Conclusion: Lack of awareness, socioeconomic factors and disease related stigma were the main factors related to delayed presentation in young females with benign breast diseases. Addressing these factors may improve timely diagnosis and management of delayed and challenging cases.