Risk Factors of Breast Cancer in Hadramout Valley and Desert, Yemen

Ghazi Bashamakha, Hesham bin Sumait, Mohamed Bashamakha, Abdulwahed Al Serouri, Yousef Khader


Background: The incidence of breast cancer is on rise in low‑ and middle‑income countries as populations increasingly adopt western lifestyles. Studies on risk factors of cancers including breast cancer are lacking in Yemen. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the risk factors of breast cancer among women registered at Hadramout Valley and Desert Oncology Center (HVDOC).

Methods: A case–control study was conducted at HVDOC, Yemen. All women who were registered in HVDOC and diagnosed with breast cancer and confirmed by histopathology during 2011– 2015 were selected as cases. Age‑matched controls were selected from women who underwent mammography in HVDOC during 2011–2015 and were confirmed to be free of breast cancer. Data were collected using semi‑structured questionnaire and clinical data were abstracted from the
medical records.

Results: A total of 105 patients and 210 controls were included in this study. About
70.5% of cases and 72.4% of control were 50 years old or younger. Compared with married women, divorced women had higher odds of breast cancer [odds ratio (OR) = 2.2]. The odds of breast cancer was higher for women who had never breastfed a child (OR = 1.7). Having hypertension (OR = 2.5), family history of malignancy (OR = 2.4), and postmenopausal status (OR = 2.0) were significantly associated with higher odds of breast cancer in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: The main risk factors for breast cancer among women in Yemen are divorced marital status, never breastfed a child, having hypertension, family history of malignancy, and postmenopause. Regular screening especially among women with high risk is needed.

Keywords: Breast neoplasm, case–control study, risk factors, Yemen

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