Rising incidence of breast cancer in Brunei Darussalam.


Vui Heng CHONG 1, Pemasari Upali TELISINGHE 2

1 Department of Medicine,  and 2 Department of Pathology, RIPAS Hospital, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.



Introduction: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women and the incidence rates are reported to be increasing. This study looks at breast cancer in Brunei Darussalam in particular the incidence rates, the demographic and types of breast cancers over a 27-year-period (1984 to 2010). Materials and Methods: The Cancer Registry maintained by the State Department of Pathology was retrospectively reviewed. Over this period there were a total of 874 cases of breast cancer diagnosed, nine of which were men (1.1%) and these were excluded from analysis. The crude incidence rates, Age Standardised Rates (ASR) and the age specific incidence rates were calculated based on population projections. Age was unavailable from 1984 and 1985 and these two years were excluded from ASR analyses.  Results: The mean age at diagnosis was 48.7 ± 11.7 years old. The ethnic distribution showed predominantly Malays (69.1%) followed by Chinese (20.1), ‘Others’ (9.1%) and Indigenous group (1.5%). The types of cancers were predominantly ductal (84.9%), followed by lobular (5.5%), Malignant Phyllodes tumour (4.4%), ‘Others’ (4.6%) and papillary (0.7%). Breast accounted for 17.6 to 26.6% of all female cancers from 2001 to 2010. 22.3% of breast cancers occurred in the young patient group (less than 40 years old). The crude rates increased from 11.0 per 100,000 women (1984-1986) to 40.7 per 100,000 women (2008-2010) and the ASR increased from 14.7 per 100,000 (1987-1989) to 43.9 per 100,000 women (2008-2010). The ASR for the Chinese increased markedly from 1992-1995 peaking in 2002-2004 followed by a declining trend whereas the trend is increasing in the Malays. Conclusions: Our study showed that the overall incidence of breast cancers in Brunei Darussalam is increasing. Chinese had higher incidence rates than the Malays. The age adjusted incidence rate is approaching the rates reported by the more developed Southeast Asian nations. Importantly, young breast cancer accounts for a fifth of the patients.


Keywords: Breast carcinoma, incidence, trends, age adjusted incidence


Correspondence author: Vui Heng CHONG, Department of Medicine, RIPAS Hospital, Bandar Seri Begawan BA 1710, Brunei Darussalam

Tel: +673 2242424 Ext 5231

E mail: chongvuih@yahoo.co.uk


Brunei Int Med J. 2011; 7 (5): 260-268