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PURPOSE: Breast cancer is now the leading female cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, but there is relatively little information on breast cancer characteristics from this region. We studied, on a population basis, the size and stage of female breast cancer at diagnosis in Côte d'Ivoire and Republic of Congo. METHODS: Data on tumor size and stage of breast cancer at diagnosis were collected by population-based cancer registries in Abidjan (the capital of Côte d'Ivoire; 141 cases) and Brazzaville (the capital of Republic of Congo; 139 cases) from a random group of female breast cancer cases that were diagnosed in 2008-2009 using the same protocol. RESULTS: The majority of breast cancers in both countries were advanced cancers. In Côte d'Ivoire, 68% of tumors were ≥5 cm in diameter and 74% of cancers were stage III or IV at diagnosis; the corresponding proportions in Republic of Congo were 63% and 81%. CONCLUSION: These results underscore the importance of increased awareness about early detection of breast cancer, as well as expansion of the capacity to provide appropriate diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





713 - 717


Africa, Breast cancer, Cancer registry, Congo, Republic of, Côte d'Ivoire, Stage, Adult, Breast Neoplasms, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Early Detection of Cancer, Female, Humans, Mass Screening, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Registries, Tumor Burden