Breast cancer burden in Africa: evidence from GLOBOCAN 2018



Sharma R.


J Public Health (Oxf). 2020 Jul 13:fdaa099. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdaa099. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is the leading malignancy in African females. This study aims to examine the breast cancer burden in Africa using recently released GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates. METHODS: The incidence and mortality estimates of age- and country-wise burden of breast cancer in 54 African countries were obtained from GLOBOCAN 2018. RESULTS: In Africa, breast cancer caused 74 072 deaths, and 168 690 cases were estimated to have occurred in 2018. The age-standardized incidence rate stood at 37.9/100 000 in Africa, varying from 6.9/100 000 in the Gambia to 69.6/100 000 in Mauritius. The age-standardized mortality rate stood at 17.2/100 000 in 2018, ranging from 4/100 000 in the Gambia to 29.1/100 000 in Somalia in 2018. Nigeria was the leading country in terms of absolute burden with 26 310 cases and 11 564 deaths, followed by Egypt with 23 081 new cases and 9254 deaths. The mortality-to-incidence ratio for Africa stood at 0.44, varying from 0.24 in Libya to 0.68 in the Central African Republic. CONCLUSION: To tackle breast cancer burden in Africa, the main challenges are late-stage disease presentation, lack of screening and therapeutic infrastructure, lack of awareness and limited resources. CI – © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:

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Link/DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdaa099