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									        Uniqueness of Breast Cancer Affecting Arab Women in Israel

Background: Arab sector in Israel compromised 20% of Israel’s population with
82% are Muslim, 9% Christians and 9% are Druze.
Epidemiological transition of women in Arab sector during the last 60 years from
farming and active life to a household caused a major change with high
morbidity of chronic diseases, mainly cancer.
Breast Cancer: in the Arab sector, cancer constitutes the second most frequent
cause of death (17%) after heart diseases (19%). For the last 30 years, cancer in
Arab women had an increase of 123% compare to only 24.4% for Jewish women.
During last 50 years, researchers found a rapid increase of over 400% in breast
cancer in the Arab women in Galilee compare to an increase of 24% in Jewish
partner, while at national level found an increase of 204% in Arab and 43% in
Jewish sector.
Causes: delay of marriage age and first birth, fertility reduction (from 9 to 4.2
babies), reduced breastfeeding period. High obesity rate: 41.2% of Arab women
with BMI > 30kg/m2 compare to 22.2% of Jewish women. Change of nutrition to
more red meat with less fiber and beans. Lack of physical activities: only 8% of
Arab women perform regular physical activities compare to 23.7% of Jewish
women. Increased of hormonal consumption (contraceptives and HRT), smoking
and heredity augmentation through relative marriages.
Uniqueness: breast cancer at Arab sector affecting younger women (45.7% are
under the age of 50 compare to only 23.3% of Jewish). Diagnosed at later stage:
only 36% are diagnosed at stage 0-1 compare to 53% for Jewish women, while
42% of Arab diagnosed at stage 3-4 compare to 12% of Jewish. Late diagnoses
usually due to poor screening mammography: 20% of Arab women compare to
over 60% for Jewish. Breast cancer with higher affinity to HER2: 39% of Arab
patients compare to 24% of Jewish (25% globally). Arab breast cancer with
higher severity type: 28% at severity grade 3 compare to 12% for Jewish. Ratio of
incidence to mortality of breast cancer is 2.2 for Arab compare to 3.0 for Jewish
reflecting advanced stage of diagnoses. Five years survival is 60% for Arab and
70% for Jewish women.
Conclusions: life style modification been identified as a major cause for cancer
morbidity at general and breast cancer at particular. Early intervention by health
promotion for prevention and early detection can improve quality of life of
women at various cultures with transition of life style.

Kassim Baddarni – Director
Al-Taj Organization
P.O. Box 85, Arraba 30812, Israel
Tel/Fax: +972-4-6747737 Mobile: +972-52-4594490

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