Ana Vaz

Breast Cancer in Brazil

BACKGROUND: Influence of Known Breast Cancer Risk Factors and their Distributions, Including Socioeconomic Status, on Breast Cancer Incidence Patterns among Adult Women in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

OBJECTIVES: As a leading cancer among Brazilian women, regional differences in breast cancer incidence and mortality imply environmental and socioeconomic-related factors as influencing the risk of developing breast cancer in Brazil. We aimed to examine the current breast cancer research infrastructure in Porto Alegre, Brazil and to estimate the influence of breast cancer risk factors on breast cancer incidence among adult women in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

METHODS: The Núcleo Mama Porto Alegre (NMPOA) clinic is an ongoing, community-based social project that provides comprehensive breast health care to approximately 10,000 underserved women residing in geopolitically-defined areas of Porto Alegre. The major research roles undertaken while in Brazil were epidemiology research consultation and coordination and research database development.

RESULTS: Many research infrastructure gaps were identified and resolved at NMPOA, including gaps in questionnaire modification procedures, clinic staff training, data collection techniques, data entry and database system procedures, data validation, hospital and clinic-wide protocols, informed consent and operations manuals. We were unable to accurately assess breast cancer risk factors in Porto Alegre due to these infrastructure limitations; however research infrastructure development is ongoing.

CONCLUSIONS: The capacity at NMPOA for epidemiologic research was substantially strengthened. Results confirm that continued foundation of population research infrastructure at NMPOA will provide a way to study breast cancer risk factors in Brazil.