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Taipei City Hospital


Elderly Woman Who Found Breast Mass Sought Prompt Medical Advice

        Recently the General Surgery Department of the Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxiao Branch admitted an 88 years old female with a past medical history of cardiac disease and diabetes. She had found a mass in her right breast 1 year ago and went to the hospital to seek medical support. She was diagnosed with highly suspicious malignant cancer of the breast with a size of over 4 cm. At the time of diagnosis, the doctor recommended she get a frozen biopsy done. However, the patient ignored the advice and did not return regularly for follow up or go to other hospitals for medical care.

       It was not until recently, due to the gradual enlargement of the right breast mass, combined with ulceration, skin lesions, discharge and foul scent where the family members could no longer look after the condition did they take her back for help. Despite the biopsy proved the mass being malignant tumor, during the evaluation, due to old age and fragility, she was not a suitable candidate for chemotherapy nor radiotherapy. Subsequently after discussing with the family members, they agreed to undertake surgical mass excision intervention . Post-operative recovery went well and she is now discharged from hospital for regular follow up at outpatient clinic.

       Dr. Pang-Han Hsueh from the General Surgery Department of the Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxiao Branch said that treatment for breast cancer includes the following: surgery with chemotherapy, hormone target therapy or radiotherapy, all of which have good outcomes. As cancer is now first on the list of top 10 causes of deaths in Taiwan with continual increase in female breast cancers. Additionally, considering that a trend of drops in onset age has been observed, the task of breast cancer prevention is a matter of urgency. Nevertheless, elderly women in the family who have reduced mobility and are unable to seek medical advice independently should be looked after and receive attention.

       Dr. Pang-Han Hsueh made a special reminder to the public, especially in elderly females, to please seek prompt medical consultation upon finding a breast mass. Disapproving medical attention may delay treatment for illnesses.