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Breast neoplasms, Iran, Australia, Immigrants, Surgical oncology
Background: While there is much information available about breast cancer in Australia overall, less is known about breast cancer in immigrant women and specifically Iranian-born women. Understanding this group is important to provide appropriate screening, treatment and support interventions. The aim of this study was to describe breast cancer presentation, tumour and treatment characteristics in Iranian-born women in Australia.
Methods: Women were eligible for this retrospective audit if treated for breast malignancy with country of birth recorded. Demographic, tumour and surgical data were extracted and analysed. Data for Iranian-born women were compared to data for Australian-born (comparison group 1) and women born in countries other than Australia or Iran (comparison group 2, referred to as ‘other’).
Results: 2086 women were eligible: Iranian-born n=27, Australian-born n=894 and Other n=1165. Iranian-born women were younger, mean age of 53.9 (five years younger in overall mean, SD 11.98, F=3.171, p=0.042). Iranian-born women were significantly less likely to present with a screen-detected cancer (X2= 11.481, p=0.003) and more likely to have a high-grade cancer (X2=14.383, p=0.006). There was no difference in mastectomy rate (X2=1.698, p=0.428).
Conclusion: Iranian-born women treated for breast cancer in Australia were younger, had higher-grade tumours and were less likely to have a screen-detected cancer than Australian-born women or women born in other countries. Strategies to encourage screening participation in Iranian-born women are required. Support for these women is required as they are more likely to receive toxic treatments (chemotherapy and extended adjuvant endocrine therapy) due to younger age and higher grade tumours.