Breast Cancer Incidence and Risk Reduction with Special Reference to Muslim Countries


  • Nureen Haq
  • Mohamed M Haq
  • Abida Haque Weill Medical School of Cornell University, New York, NY and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX



Islam, breast cancer, prevention and control



Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in women in the Muslim world. The incidence of breast cancer ranges from highs of 58.9, 52, and 50.1 cases per 100,000 in Bosnia, Lebanon, and Pakistan, respectively, to a low of 13.2 in Oman, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2000. Breast cancer incidence is increasing in Muslim countries, while also presenting in patients at a younger age and in a more advanced stage. The major factors affecting the incidence of breast cancer — diet, exercise, weight, reproductive patterns, breast feeding, and supplemental hormone use — are lifestyle choices that can be modified. A campaign to introduce simple risk reduction and early detection strategies, as well as specific medical intervention in high-risk women, can help significantly decrease the incidence and mortality. This requires a joint effort by physicians, government institutions, and the community to allow every Muslim woman the best chance for survival.






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