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'Arab women suffer more aggressive breast cancer’

Doha, September 22, 2013

Women in the Middle East often suffer with more aggressive forms of breast cancer than Western women, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar have discovered.

WCMC-Q’s assistant dean for basic science curriculum, Dr Lotfi Chouchane, who was the lead author of the research report, said that Arab populations have some particularities in terms of cancer, especially breast cancer, and also that the clinical features among Arab women are different from other populations.

“Inflammatory breast cancer is the most lethal form of the disease and constitutes one to two per cent of all breast cancer tumours in the United States,” said Dr Chouchane.

“But a higher proportion of cases are reported in Arab populations. For example in Tunisia, seven to 10 per cent of all breast cancer is inflammatory. Similarly, in a population-based study in the Gharbiah region of Egypt, inflammatory breast cancer was confirmed as more prevalent than in the United States, constituting up to 11 per cent as opposed to 1-2 per cent in the US. ”

Breast cancer is a major health problem in both developed and developing countries and the research was published in the latest edition of The Lancet Oncology, an international medical journal. Co-authors were Dr Konduru Sastry, a research associate in microbiology and immunology at WCMC-Q, and Dr Hammouda Boussen from Tunisia.

The report found that the incidence of breast cancer is lower in Arabic countries than in Europe and the US but is rising fast.

Dr Chouchane said: “This report is going to be the reference for anybody who wants to undertake studies about breast cancer in Arab populations and researchers will refer to it because here we describe all the characteristics of breast cancer in Arab populations based on our own findings and based also on the literature what is found.”

He added that the reduction of incidences of breast cancer and its mortality can be achieved with major efforts in screening and early detection.

“Although several awareness campaigns have been undertaken, no structured national programmes exist for population mammography screening in Arab countries,” Dr Chouchane said.

Dr. Chouchane’s study was supported by the Biomedical Research Program fund at WCMC-Q and by grants from the Qatar National Research Fund. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: research | Cancer | arab | Women | Western | Breast |

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