Breast Cancer Screening Among Females in Iran and Recommendations for Improved Practice: A Review


Breast cancer is the second most common cancer amongst women, in Iran comprising 21.4% of femalecancers. There are several screening modalities for breast cancer including breast self-examination, clinicalbreast examination and mammography. This research reviews the literature surrounding the implementationof these screening approaches in the Islamic Republic of Iran. After initial results produced approximately 208articles, a total of 96 articles were included because they specifically addressed epidemiological characteristicsof breast cancer, culture, religion, health seeking behavior, screening programs and the health system in Iran.Literature showed that breast self-examination and clinical breast examination were most common as there isno population-based mammography screening program in Iran. Additionally, most women appear to obtaininformation through the mass media. Results also indicate that Islamic beliefs and preventative medicine arevery much aligned and can be used to promote breast cancer screening in Iran. These results highlight thatthere is a need for aggressive preventative measures focusing on breast self examination and gradually movingtowards national mammography programs in Iran ideally disseminated through the media with governmentsupport.