Background: Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy of women worldwide. In Iraq, breast cancer ranksfirst among cancers diagnosed in women but no studies have been conducted on incidence trends. The presentstudy of breast cancer in the country during 2000-2009 was therefore performed. Materials and
Methods: Theregistered data for breast cancer cases were collected from the Iraqi Cancer Registry/Ministry of Health. Thesignificance of incidence rate trends during 2000-2009 was tested using Poisson regression. Age-standardizedrates (ASR), and age-specific rates per 100,000 population were calculated.
Results: A total of 23,792 incidentbreast cancer cases were registered among females aged ≥15 years, represented 33.8% of all cancers in femalesregistered during 2000-2009. It ranked first in all the years. The median age at diagnosis was 49 and the mean agewas 52 years. The incidence rate of all female breast cancer in Iraq (all ages) increased from 26.6 per 100,000 in2000 to 31.5 per 100,000 in 2009 (APC=1.14%, p<.0001). The incidence in age groups (40-49), (50-59) and (70+)increased in earlier years and has recently (2005-2009) become stable. The incidence in age group (60-69) didnot decline since 2003, while the incidence rates in the age group (15-39) started to decline in 2004.
Conclusions:With the Iraqi Cancer Registry data during the period 2000-2009, the incidence of all female breast cancer inIraq (all ages) has risen. We found rapid increase in the age specific incidence rate among age group 60-69.However, breast cancer among Iraqi women still affects younger age groups than their counterparts in developedcountries. Further epidemiological research is needed to examine possible causes and prevention measures.