Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries.  In low- and middle-income countries the occurrence of breast cancer has been rising steadily in the last years.

   Early detection

Currently there is not sufficient knowledge about the causes of breast cancer. Therefore, early detection remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

The majority of deaths occur in developing countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages. This is caused mainly by lack of awareness about early detection and due to barriers to appropriate health services.


Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy among women, accounting for 25% of all cancers, with an estimated 1.57 million of new cases in 2012 alone.

  It is also the leading cause of female cancer-related deaths.

In Iraq

  • Breast cancer has become a major threat to female health with a cancer-related mortality rate of 23%. It is the second leading cause of deaths, followed by cardiovascular diseases among women.
  •  A total of 21,101 new cases were registered in 2012. The incidence rate was 22 per 100,000 for the female population.

In Duhok

  • The most frequent cancer among women is breast cancer , accounting for 21% of all cancers, with 188 new cases in 2017. 
  • Almost all cases are diagnosed at a late stage.
  • It is also the first leading cause of female cancer-related deaths in 2017 (8 out of 69). 

 Most of the time, early breast cancer has no symptoms that can be easily detected. Therefore, the best strategy for fighting breast cancer is through early detection and prompt treatment.

Three tests commonly used to screen for breast cancer are:

  • Mammogram.
  • Clinical Breast Exam
  • Breast Self-Exam