Document Type : Review Article


Department of Medical Laboratory Techniques, Al-Mussaib Technical Institute, Al-Furat Al-Awsat Technical University, 51009, Iraq


Breast cancer, the most frequent disease in women worldwide, represents a significant public health concern on a global scale. Breast cancer was the most frequent type of cancer among Iraqi women in 2018, accounting for the highest percentage of malignant tumors in women. Breast cancer is a set of physiological and molecular heterogeneous diseases that begin in the breast. Advanced breast cancer with distant organ metastases is considered incurable with current therapies. Aside from new treatment improvements, the next global challenge in breast cancer care is equal worldwide access to therapeutic advances. The incidence of breast cancer continues to rise in every part of the world. Despite advances in its identification and treatment, which have resulted in lower mortality rates, it appears vital to seek out new therapeutic approaches, predictive and prognostic indicators. The article provides a literature review of breast carcinoma, a condition that affects women worldwide. As a result, women should be aware of the disease's course, the importance of regular screenings for early detection of breast cancer, and the best treatment options.

Graphical Abstract

Prevalence of women breast cancer


Main Subjects

Selected author of this article by journal

Dr. Ruqayah Ali Salman
Al-Furat Al-Awsat Technical University
Google Scholar

Open Access

This article is licensed under a CC BY License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit:


Publisher’s Note

CMBR journal remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional afflictions.


Letters to Editor

Given that CMBR Journal's policy in accepting articles will be strict and will do its best to ensure that in addition to having the highest quality published articles, the published articles should have the least similarity (maximum 15%). Also, all the figures and tables in the article must be original and the copyright permission of images must be prepared by authors. However, some articles may have flaws and have passed the journal filter, which dear authors may find fault with. Therefore, the editor of the journal asks the authors, if they see an error in the published articles of the journal, to email the article information along with the documents to the journal office.

CMBR Journal welcomes letters to the editor ([email protected], [email protected]) for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Critical letters can be sent to the journal editor as soon as the article is online. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.

[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.

[3] There is no limit to the number of words in a letter.

[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.

[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.

[6] Letter writers must include Name, Email Address, Affiliation, mobile phone number, and Comments.

[7] Letters will be answered as soon as possible.

  1. Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A (2018) Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians 68 (6): 394-424. doi:
  2. Guida F, Kidman R, Ferlay J, Schuz J, Soerjomataram I, Kithaka B, Ginsburg O, Mailhot Vega RB, Galukande M, Parham G, Vaccarella S, Canfell K, Ilbawi AM, Anderson BO, Bray F, Dos-Santos-Silva I, McCormack V (2022) Global and regional estimates of orphans attributed to maternal cancer mortality in 2020. Nat Med 28 (12): 2563-2572. doi:
  3. Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL, Laversanne M, Soerjomataram I, Jemal A, Bray F (2021) Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. CA Cancer J Clin 71 (3): 209-249. doi:
  4. Brody JG, Rudel RA (2003) Environmental pollutants and breast cancer. Environmental health perspectives 111 (8): 1007-1019. doi:
  5. Faramarzi A, Jahromi MG, Ashourzadeh S, Jalilian N (2021) Metastatic and pathophysiological characteristics of breast cancer with emphasis on hereditary factors. Cent Asian J Med Pharm Sci Innov 1 (3): 104-113. doi:
  6. Fazeli-Nasab B, Sayyed RZ, Sobhanizadeh A (2021) In Silico Molecular Docking Analysis of α-Pinene: An Antioxidant and Anticancer Drug Obtained from Myrtus communis. Int J Cancer Manag 14 (2): e89116. doi:
  7. Feng Y, Spezia M, Huang S, Yuan C, Zeng Z, Zhang L, Ji X, Liu W, Huang B, Luo W, Liu B, Lei Y, Du S, Vuppalapati A, Luu HH, Haydon RC, He T-C, Ren G (2018) Breast cancer development and progression: Risk factors, cancer stem cells, signaling pathways, genomics, and molecular pathogenesis. Genes & Diseases 5 (2): 77-106. doi:
  8. Salman RA, AlBairuty GAA, Abdul-Rasheed OF, Salman RA (2020) Decreased catalase activity and glutathione concentration levels in women patients with breast cancer. Ann Trop Med Public Health 23 (13B): 1-9. doi:
  9. Mangesi L, Zakarija‐Grkovic I (2016) Treatments for breast engorgement during lactation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016 (6): Art. No.: CD006946. doi:
  10. Giovannelli P, Di Donato M, Galasso G, Di Zazzo E, Bilancio A, Migliaccio A (2018) The androgen receptor in breast cancer. Frontiers in endocrinology 9: 492. doi:
  11. Effi AB, Aman NA, Koui BS, Koffi KD, Traoré ZC, Kouyate M (2017) Immunohistochemical determination of estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer: relationship with clinicopathologic factors in 302 patients in Ivory Coast. BMC cancer 17: 1-6. doi:
  12. Salman RA, AlBairuty GAA, Abdul-Rasheed OF (2021) Study of β-Catenin as Immunohistochemistry Marker in Women with Breast Cancer. Iraqi Journal of Science 62 (2): 387-395. doi:
  13. Smolarz B, Nowak AZ, Romanowicz H (2022) Breast Cancer—Epidemiology, Classification, Pathogenesis and Treatment (Review of Literature). Cancers 14 (10): 2569. doi:
  14. Alwan N (2014) Iraqi initiative of a regional comparative breast cancer research project in the Middle East. J Cancer Biol Res 2 (1): 1016-1120. doi:
  15. Alwan NA (2016) Breast cancer among Iraqi women: Preliminary findings from a regional comparative Breast Cancer Research Project. Journal of global oncology 2 (5): 255. doi:
  16. Alwan NA, Kerr D, Al-Okati D, Pezella F, Tawfeeq FN (2018) Comparative study on the clinicopathological profiles of breast cancer among Iraqi and British patients. The Open Public Health Journal 11 (1): 177-191. doi:
  17. Momenimovahed Z, Salehiniya H (2019) Epidemiological characteristics of and risk factors for breast cancer in the world. breast Cancer: targets and ther. Breast Cancer 11: 151–164. doi:
  18. Alrawi N (2022) A review on breast cancer in Iraq and future therapies insights. Baghdad Journal of Biochemistry and Applied Biological Sciences 3 (01): 4-16. doi:
  19. Al-Hashimi M, Wang XJ (2014) Breast cancer in Iraq, incidence trends from 2000-2009. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 15 (1): 281-286. doi:
  20. Alwan N, Shawkat MM (2020) Treatment options and follow-up among Iraqi patients with breast carcinoma. European Journal of Medical and Health Sciences 2 (2): 1-6. doi:
  21. Alwan N, Kerr D (2018) Cancer control in war-torn Iraq. The Lancet Oncology 19 (3): 291-292. doi:
  22. Obeyed H, Ibrahim R, Abdo-Alkareem R, Hasan A, Nasser L (2018) Annual report: Iraqi cancer registry 2015. Republic of Iraq/Ministry of health/Iraqi Cancer Board. doi:
  23. Saggu S, Rehman H, Abbas ZK, Ansari AA (2015) Recent incidence and descriptive epidemiological survey of breast cancer in Saudi Arabia. Saudi medical journal 36 (10): 1176. doi:
  24. Heena H, Durrani S, Riaz M, AlFayyad I, Tabasim R, Parvez G, Abu-Shaheen A (2019) Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to breast cancer screening among female health care professionals: a cross sectional study. BMC women's health 19: 1-11. doi:
  25. Mahfouz AA, Hassanein MH, Nahar S, Farheen A, Gaballah II, Mohamed A, Rabie FM, Aftab R (2013) Breast cancer knowledge and related behaviors among women in Abha city, southwestern Saudi Arabia. Journal of Cancer Education 28: 516-520. doi:
  26. Donnelly TT, Hwang J (2015) Breast cancer screening interventions for Arabic women: a literature review. Journal of immigrant and minority health 17: 925-939. doi:
  27. SM B (2005) Epidemiology of breast cancer in Qatar 1999-2000. Qatar Medical Journal 14 (2): 34-36. doi:
  28. IARC (2010) Globocan 2008.
  29. Al Hamdan N, Ravichandran K, Al Sayyad J, Al Lawati J, Khazal Z, Al Khateeb F, Abdulwahab A, Al Asfour A (2009) Incidence of cancer in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, 1998-2001. EMHJ-Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal 15 (3): 600-611. doi:
  30. Smith RA, Cokkinides V, Eyre HJ (2003) American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer, 2003. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians 53 (1): 27-43. doi:
  31. IARC (2008) Worldcancer report 2008 and Global cancer statistics.
  32. Bener A, El Ayoubi HR, Moore MA, Basha B, Joseph S, Chouchane L (2009) Do we need to maximise the breast cancer screening awareness? Experience with an endogamous society with high fertility. Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP 10 (4): 599-604. doi:
  33. Azaiza F, Cohen M (2006) Health beliefs and rates of breast cancer screening among Arab women. Journal of Women's Health 15 (5): 520-530. doi:
  34. Maki M, Leung KT, Qin W (2009) The prospects of cellulase-producing bacteria for the bioconversion of lignocellulosic biomass. International journal of biological sciences 5 (5): 500. doi:
  35. Ferlay J, Ervik M, Lam F, Colombet M, Mery L, Piñeros M, Znaor A, Soerjomataram I, Bray F (2020) Global cancer observatory: cancer today. International Agency for Research on Cancer: Lyon, France, 2020; Available online: doi:Available online:
  36. DeSantis CE, Fedewa SA, Goding Sauer A, Kramer JL, Smith RA, Jemal A (2016) Breast cancer statistics, 2015: Convergence of incidence rates between black and white women. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians 66 (1): 31-42. doi:
  37. Sharma R (2021) Global, regional, national burden of breast cancer in 185 countries: evidence from GLOBOCAN 2018. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 187: 557-567. doi:
  38. Ginsburg O, Bray F, Coleman MP, Vanderpuye V, Eniu A, Kotha SR, Sarker M, Huong TT, Allemani C, Dvaladze A, Gralow J, Yeates K, Taylor C, Oomman N, Krishnan S, Sullivan R, Kombe D, Blas MM, Parham G, Kassami N, Conteh L (2017) The global burden of women’s cancers: a grand challenge in global health. The Lancet 389 (10071): 847-860. doi:
  39. Asadzadeh Vostakolaei F, Karim-Kos HE, Janssen-Heijnen ML, Visser O, Verbeek AL, Kiemeney LA (2011) The validity of the mortality to incidence ratio as a proxy for site-specific cancer survival. The European Journal of Public Health 21 (5): 573-577. doi:
  40. Sankaranarayanan R, Swaminathan R, Brenner H, Chen K, Chia KS, Chen JG, Law SCK, Ahn Y-O, Xiang YB, Yeole BB, Shin HR, Shanta V, Woo ZH, Martin N, Sumitsawan Y, Sriplung H, Barboza AO, Eser S, Nene BM, Suwanrungruang K, Jayalekshmi P, Dikshit R, Wabinga H, Esteban DB, Laudico A, Bhurgri Y, Bah E, Al-Hamdan N (2010) Cancer survival in Africa, Asia, and Central America: a population-based study. The Lancet Oncology 11 (2): 165-173. doi:
  41. CGHFBC (2001) (Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer) Familial breast cancer: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 52 epidemiological studies including 58 209 women with breast cancer and 101 986 women without the disease. The Lancet 358 (9291): 1389-1399. doi:
  42. Bray F, Ferlay J, Laversanne M, Brewster D, Gombe Mbalawa C, Kohler B, Piñeros M, Steliarova‐Foucher E, Swaminathan R, Antoni S (2015) Cancer I ncidence in F ive C ontinents: inclusion criteria, highlights from Volume X and the global status of cancer registration. International journal of cancer 137 (9): 2060-2071. doi:
  43. Mariotto AB, Etzioni R, Hurlbert M, Penberthy L, Mayer M (2017) Estimation of the number of women living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 26 (6): 809-815. doi:
  44. Ren J-X, Gong Y, Ling H, Hu X, Shao Z-M (2019) Racial/ethnic differences in the outcomes of patients with metastatic breast cancer: contributions of demographic, socioeconomic, tumor and metastatic characteristics. Breast cancer research and treatment 173: 225-237. doi:
  45. Agarwal G, Pradeep P, Aggarwal V, Yip C-H, Cheung PS (2007) Spectrum of breast cancer in Asian women. World journal of surgery 31: 1031-1040. doi:
  46. Wong FY, Tham WY, Nei WL, Lim C, Miao H (2018) Age exerts a continuous effect in the outcomes of Asian breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving therapy. Cancer communications 38: 1-11. doi:
  47. Kohler B, Sherman R, Howlader N, Jemal A, Ryerson A, Henry KAP (2015) Annual Report to the Nation on the status of cancer, 1975–2011, featuring incidence of breast cancer subtypes by race/ethnicity, poverty, and state. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 107 (6): 1-15. doi:
  48. DeSantis CE, Ma J, Goding Sauer A, Newman LA, Jemal A (2017) Breast cancer statistics, 2017, racial disparity in mortality by state. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians 67 (6): 439-448. doi:
  49. Winters S, Martin C, Murphy D, Shokar NK (2017) Chapter One - Breast Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Screening. In: Lakshmanaswamy R (ed) Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, vol 151. Academic Press, pp 1-32. doi:
  50. Hossain MS, Ferdous S, Karim-Kos HE (2014) Breast cancer in South Asia: A Bangladeshi perspective. Cancer Epidemiology 38 (5): 465-470. doi:
  51. Bhoo Pathy N, Yip CH, Taib NA, Hartman M, Saxena N, Iau P, Bulgiba AM, Lee SC, Lim SE, Wong JEL, Verkooijen HM (2011) Breast cancer in a multi-ethnic Asian setting: Results from the Singapore–Malaysia hospital-based breast cancer registry. The Breast 20: S75-S80. doi:
  52. Singh D, Mukherjee S (2021) Impact of molecular subtypes of breast cancer on axillary lymph node metastasis: a tertiary center experience. Archives of Breast Cancer: 305-312. doi:
  53. Chen L, Fu F, Huang M, Lv J, Zhang W, Wang C (2020) The spectrum of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and clinicopathological characteristics in Chinese women with early-onset breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 180: 759-766. doi:
  54. Zhou J, Wang H, Fu F, Li Z, Feng Q, Wu W, Liu Y, Wang C, Chen Y (2020) Spectrum of PALB2 germline mutations and characteristics of PALB2‐related breast cancer: Screening of 16,501 unselected patients with breast cancer and 5890 controls by next‐generation sequencing. Cancer 126 (14): 3202-3208. doi:
  55. Religioni U (2020) Cancer incidence and mortality in Poland. Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health 8 (2): 329-334. doi:
  56. Rosso S, Gondos A, Zanetti R, Bray F, Zakelj M, Zagar T, Smailyte G, Ponti A, Brewster DH, Voogd AC (2010) Up-to-date estimates of breast cancer survival for the years 2000–2004 in 11 European countries: the role of screening and a comparison with data from the United States. European Journal of Cancer 46 (18): 3351-3357. doi:
  57. Miller KD, Siegel RL, Lin CC, Mariotto AB, Kramer JL, Rowland JH, Stein KD, Alteri R, Jemal A (2016) Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians 66 (4): 271-289. doi:
  58. Jalil AT, Dilfi SH, Karevskiy A (2019) Survey of Breast Cancer in Wasit Province, Iraq. Global Journal of Public Health Medicine 1 (2): 33-38. doi:
  59. Fathi RA, Matti LY, Al-Salih HS, Godbold D (2013) Environmental pollution by depleted uranium in Iraq with special reference to Mosul and possible effects on cancer and birth defect rates. Medicine, conflict and survival 29 (1): 7-25. doi:
  60. WHO (2002) National cancer control programmes: policies and managerial guidelines. World Health Organization,
  61. Alwan N (2010) Breast cancer: demographic characteristics and clinico-pathological presentation of patients in Iraq. EMHJ-Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 16 (11), 1159-1164, 2010 16 (11): 1159-1164. doi:
  62. Budzyński M, Grenda A, Filip AA (2014) Cząsteczki mikroRNA jako istotny składnik mechanizmów regulacji ekspresji genów związanych z nowotworami. J Oncol 64: 48-60. doi:
  63. Litton JK, Rugo HS, Ettl J, Hurvitz SA, Gonçalves A, Lee K-H, Fehrenbacher L, Yerushalmi R, Mina LA, Martin M (2018) Talazoparib in patients with advanced breast cancer and a germline BRCA mutation. New England Journal of Medicine 379 (8): 753-763. doi:
  64. Loh H-Y, Norman BP, Lai K-S, Rahman NMANA, Alitheen NBM, Osman MA (2019) The regulatory role of microRNAs in breast cancer. International journal of molecular sciences 20 (19): 4940. doi:
  65. Singh R, Mo Y-Y (2013) Role of microRNAs in breast cancer. Cancer biology & therapy 14 (3): 201-212. doi:
  66. Smolarz B, Zadrożna-Nowak A, Romanowicz H (2021) The role of lncRNA in the development of tumors, including breast cancer. International journal of molecular sciences 22 (16): 8427. doi:
  67. Mula-Hussain L, Alabedi H, Al-Alloosh F, Alharganee A (2021) Cancer in War-Torn Countries: Iraq as an Example. In: Laher I (ed) Handbook of Healthcare in the Arab World. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 481-494. doi: