Late-Stage Diagnosis and Associated Factors Among Breast Cancer Patients in South and Southwest Ethiopia: A Multicenter Study

Published:October 01, 2020DOI:



      Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in low- and middle-income countries, largely because of late-stage diagnosis. Yet studies are very limited in the Ethiopian context. Therefore, we determined the occurrence of late-stage disease and associated factors in selected public hospitals in south and southwest Ethiopia.

      Patients and Methods

      A 5-year retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted on breast cancer patient medical records from January 2013 to December 2017 in 6 hospitals. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with late-stage disease (stage III and IV). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) with 95% confidence intervals were used. P < .05 was considered statistically significant.


      Overall, 426 breast cancer patients were identified, and 72.5% were diagnosed with late-stage disease. The mean ± standard deviation patient age was 42.8 ± 13.4 years. Factors associated with late diagnosis were patient delay in seeking care (AOR = 2.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51-4.16); health system delays (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI, 1.02-2.59); female sex (AOR = 3.46; 95% CI, 1.50-7.98); rural residence (AOR = 2.37; 95% CI, 1.45-3.86); chief complaint of breast lump (AOR = 3.01; 95% CI, 1.49-6.07); and history of comorbidities (AOR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.02-2.91).


      The majority of patients were diagnosed with late-stage diagnosis of breast cancer. Patient delays in seeking care, health system delays, being female, rural residence, and patient comorbidities were associated factors. These findings provide evidence that efforts to increase public and health provider awareness to promote early breast cancer diagnosis, particularly in rural areas, are needed in south and southwest Ethiopia.


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