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Barriers Impeding Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Iraq: A Critical Analysis

Maallah, M., Needle, J. J. ORCID: 0000-0003-0727-1391 & Alwan, N. (2022). Barriers Impeding Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Iraq: A Critical Analysis. Azerbaijan Medical Journal, 62(07), pp. 2845-2863.

Abstract

Breast cancer (BC) patients in Iraq tend to be diagnosed at advanced stages and among younger age groups compared to their counterparts in high-income countries, which has led to a higher BC related mortality rate in Iraq. The aim of this paper is to identify the barriers impeding early detection of BC among Iraqi women. The Social-Ecological Model and the knowledge, attitudes and practices framework were used for the analysis. Gaps in awareness of BC-related facts are still present among Iraqi women which are negatively affecting their attitudes and practices towards the early detection of the disease. Women highlighted their concerns regarding losing family support if they were diagnosed with BC. Those living in rural areas and internally displaced populations face difficulties in reaching specialised health centres. There are deficiencies in the required human resources and infrastructure available to the breast cancer early detection programme as it lacks direct budget allocation from the government. Other obstacles include poor implementation of the national protocol guidelines and weak monitoring and evaluation systems. There is an urgent need to adopt comprehensive national protocol guidelines for early detection of BC in Iraq, in line with recommendations of the Breast Health Global Initiative for LMICs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article was published in Azerbaijan Medical Journal under a CC-BY-ND license.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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