Elissa Brown

Breast cancer rates vary greatly in different parts of the world

Previous studies have shown that the incidence of breast cancer is higher in developed countries versus developing countries, and higher in urban areas versus rural areas. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer publishes the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents resource, which collects data on cancer incidence from all over of the world, including countries in Africa. The developing countries in Africa consist of both rural and urban areas with varying incidence rates among them. Breast cancer incidence rates in African countries range from 10 cases per 100,000 to in the Congro to 35 cases per 100,000 in South Africa. This project will analyze breast cancer data from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents cancer registry with the specific aim to analyze the data from Africa in order to determine if any geographical patterns exist among different countries in the continent. Other data on risk factors will be gained from The World Bank and Demographic and Health Surveys. The study population will include all female residents of the continent of Africa who were diagnosed with incident breast cancer between 1998-2002 from those countries with population-based registries. These countries include Algeria, The Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Analyses will be run to find any overall trends, such as if any specific countries in Africa exhibit unusual breast cancer rates compared to other countries. After gathering information on risk factors, a clear association may emerge between countries with high incidence rates and certain risk factors common in the population.