Ben Abdallah M
Zehani S
Maalej M
Hsairi M
Hechiche M
Ben Romdhane K
Boussen H
Saadi A
Achour N
Ben Ayed F


The goal of this study is to analyze certain epidemiologic characteristics of breast cancer in Tunisia and to foresee the consequences that will arise from the trends in incidence of this cancer.
Data obtained from the North-Tunisia Cancer Registry (NTCR) and from the Salah AZAIZ Institute (SAI) Registry is used to estimate the different incidence rates and to compare these rates with those of other countries.
In 15 years the crude incidence rate for breast cancer in the North Tunisia almost doubled to reach 21.5 cases / 100, 000 women per year during 1994-1998. The high rate of this cancer among women younger than 35 years (11%) could be related to a relatively low incidence among post-menopausal women. The clinical profile of breast cancer remains quite alarming: 40.2 % of cases have a tumor with a clinical diameter equal or greater than 5 cm.
Birth cohort effect, also know as the generation effect, is expected to lead to an increase of cancer incidence in the future. The rather high number of young cases is a source of additional cost on social and financial level. The priority is now to solve the problem of late diagnosis it has aggravated the prognosis of this cancer in Tunisia .


Breast cancer, Tunisia, incidence, age, birth cohort, late diagnosis, screening



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