IIUM Repository

Diagnostic interval: experiences among women with breast cancer in Malaysia

Wan Mamat, Wan Hasliza and Jarrett, Nikki and Lund, Susi (2022) Diagnostic interval: experiences among women with breast cancer in Malaysia. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 9 (T5). pp. 54-59. E-ISSN 1857-9655

[img] PDF (Article) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (385kB) | Request a copy


BACKGROUND: The diagnostic pathway is critical for early breast cancer detection and prognosis improvement. Countries such as the United Kingdom, particularly England, have implemented faster diagnosis standards to ensure that patients receive a definitive diagnosis of cancer or are ruled out within 28 days of referral. However, there is a severe shortage of data on the experiences of breast cancer patients in Malaysia during the diagnostic interval. AIMS: This study aimed to explore what happened to the women during the diagnostic phase prior to confirmation of breast cancer. METHODOLOGY: Purposive sampling was applied, and 14 participants were recruited from two government hospitals. The participants took part in in-depth, face-to-face, one-time, and audio-recorded interviews. All the interviews were subsequently transcribed verbatim and analyzed using narrative analysis. RESULTS: The diagnostic interval for the women in this study was 1-3 months from first medical contact till diagnosis. Four themes were identified during the analysis for the diagnostic interval: 1) Women who are suspected of having breast cancer; 2) Women who experience false reassurance; 3) Woman who experience delayed referral; and 4) Women who experience inconclusive investigation results. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that early warning signs of breast cancer may prompt doctors to take immediate action. However, unexpected delays may occur as a result of staffing and system issues in the healthcare system. Healthcare professionals should aggressively refer patients with typical symptoms and actively follow-up with patients who present with atypical symptoms in the community. Continuing education for healthcare professionals is necessary to improve diagnostic and referral procedures.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 5498/96370
Uncontrolled Keywords: breast cancer, diagnostic interval, Malaysia, women.
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Nursing > Department of Professional Nursing Studies
Kulliyyah of Nursing
Depositing User: Dr Wan Hasliza Wan Mamat
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2022 14:09
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 14:09
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/96370

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year