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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(7):1647-55.

Breast cancer screening among females in Iran and recommendations for improved practice: a review.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California Los Angeles, USA.


Breast cancer is the second most common cancer amongst women, in Iran comprising 21.4% of female cancers. There are several screening modalities for breast cancer including breast self-examination, clinical breast examination and mammography. This research reviews the literature surrounding the implementation of these screening approaches in the Islamic Republic of Iran. After initial results produced approximately 208 articles, a total of 96 articles were included because they specifically addressed epidemiological characteristics of breast cancer, culture, religion, health seeking behavior, screening programs and the health system in Iran. Literature showed that breast self-examination and clinical breast examination were most common as there is no population-based mammography screening program in Iran. Additionally, most women appear to obtain information through the mass media. Results also indicate that Islamic beliefs and preventative medicine are very much aligned and can be used to promote breast cancer screening in Iran. These results highlight that there is a need for aggressive preventative measures focusing on breast self examination and gradually moving towards national mammography programs in Iran ideally disseminated through the media with government support.

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