Background: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignancy and the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. In Morocco, there have been few recent descriptive studies on female breast cancer. The aim of this study was to describe the latest available incidence and mortality rates of breast cancer among Moroccan women and to compare them with rates in other regional and Western countries. Methods: For this descriptive study, Moroccan incidence data were obtained from the most recent reports of the cancer registries of Casablanca and Rabat. Information on breast cancer incidence for different countries were obtained primarily from publicly available cancer registries and Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Volume X. Mortality data were extracted from the GLOBOCAN 2012 published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Results: The age-standardized incidence (World) rate of breast cancer in Moroccan women increased from 35.0 to 39.0 per 100,000 women between 2004 and 2008, showing an annual increase of 2.85 %. The highest incidence rates were registered in the age groups of 45-49, 50-54 and 55-59 years (106.1, 108.2 and 108.5 respectively). Sixty-nine percent of female breast cancer cases were diagnosed at stages II and III. In 2012, the estimated number of women who died of breast cancer in Morocco was 2,878. The crude, age-standardized (World) mortality rates were 17.3 and 18.0 per 100,000, respectively. Conclusion: Although the incidence of female breast cancer in Morocco is lower than in Western countries, evidence shows that the rate is rising. This increase of breast cancer incidence has been observed in parallel with changes in reproductive behavior and adoption of a Western lifestyle. Prevention policies need to be implemented.
Keywords: Breast cancer; incidence; mortality; Morocco.
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