Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine,University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in females. Its incidence is higher in developed countries than in developing ones partly due to variation in risk exposure and partly due to better detection methods. Scattered evidence in Basrah, Iraq, suggests that breast cancer has been increasing at a significant pace in recent years. This study aimed to measure the current level of risk of breast cancer among females in Basrah and to describe the time trend over almost a decade of years. Data on breast cancer cases from all sources of cancer registration in Basrah governorate were compiled for the years 2005-2012. The data for each year were first checked separately for duplicate reporting of cases among various sources. Then the eight files were pooled together and checked again for any duplicate cases among years of registration. The final set of data contained 2,284 cases of breast cancer (2,213 female cases and 71 male cases). All patients were inhabitants of Basrah governorate at the time of diagnosis. Figures on the Basrah population were obtained from various sources including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Planning and Developmental Collaboration and local household surveys. It was possible to have total population estimates for each year and by age and sex. The data were imported into SPSS (version 17) software. Age specific and year specific incidence rates were calculated. The age standardized incidence rate was also calculated using world population as the standard population to be 34.9 per 100,000 females. Age-wise, no case was reported among children aged less than 15 years and the incidence increased with advancing age reaching a peak of 123.8/100,000 females at the age range of 50-54 years. The time trend of the crude incidence rate showed only modest increased risk with passage of years and no age shift could be documented in this study. Breast cancer in females in Basrah is a significant health problem. The current incidence rate (crude, 23.7/100,000, age-standardized, 34.9/100,000) is high and justifies intensive efforts to improve early detection of cases, provide better treatment amenities and introduce long term preventive measures. Using the age standardized incidence rate as reported in this paper, it is possible to put the risk in Basrah within a regional and international context.