Purpose: To identify the optimal initiation time to chemotherapy (TTC) after definitive surgery for breast cancer patients in terms of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS), also to identify the main causes of chemotherapy delay at department of Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at Ain Shams University Hospitals.
Patients and Methods: A retrospective Study including a population of 300 patients with non-metastatic breast cancer received adjuvant chemotherapy at time interval Between January 2007 till December 2011 using database from the department of Clinical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Ain Shams University Hospital. Chi-Square test and Kaplan- Meier method were used.
Results: Among the studied population, the mean age at diagnosis was 50 years and the median TTC was 5 weeks. Compared with patients receiving chemotherapy earlier than 4 weeks from definitive surgery, there was no adverse outcome as regards the OS and DFS among those with TTC of 4 to 8 weeks, 8 to 12 weeks or more than 12 weeks with non-significant P values (0.67 and 0.9 respectively). Factors associated with chemotherapy delay included sociodemographic problems among rural patients, long residential distance to institution, system related causes as late referral, governmental insurance support and long waiting lists for diagnostic imaging.
Conclusion: Adjuvant chemotherapy is equally effective up to 12 weeks after definitive surgery with similar survival benefit among breast cancer patients even those with high risk factors.