Arab women’s response to early breast-cancer-detection tests in Arab countries and in Israel - Opinion article

Daniel S. Moran1 and Seham Abo Abaed2

1Prof. Moran, Head of the Health Promotion Track, Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University, Israel
2MHA Student, Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ariel University, Israel. Nurse at the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center


Background: in the Arab world, breast cancer incidence and mortality rates have increased over the years and women are being diagnosed at more advanced stages of the disease.

Objectives: To explore variables influencing the compliance of women in the Arab world regarding early breast cancer screening, to compare these findings with the variables that influence compliance among Arab women citizens of Israel, and to suggest interventions to increase mammography screening.

Methods: A search for studies on breast cancer prevention, published in the Arab world between 2000 and March 2018, was conducted using the following databases: PubMed, Medline, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINHAL Plus, Google Scholar, Index Medicus for the Middle East. The Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention was also consulted.

Results: In the Arab world, compliance rates regarding mammography screening and other breast cancer screening activities are low. Programs are opportunistic and relatively new in the Middle East. The main variables for compliance to mammography screening include: knowledge among women and health care professionals, professionals’ recommendation, socio-demographic factors, cultural traditions, beliefs, religiosity, social support, accessibility and perceived effectiveness of the test.

Conclusions and recommendations: It is important to initiate and activate intervention programs in Arab countries in order to promote early breast cancer detection mainly through regular screening activities.

Key words: Breast cancer; mammography, screening, Arab women, Middle East

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