Breast Cancer Screening in Morocco: Performance Indicators During Two Years of an Organized Programme

  • Fakir, Samira El (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah) ;
  • Najdi, Adil (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah) ;
  • Khazraji, Youssef Chami (Fondation Lalla Salma Prevention and Treatment of Cancers) ;
  • Bennani, Maria (Fondation Lalla Salma Prevention and Treatment of Cancers) ;
  • Belakhel, Latifa (Directory of Epidemiology and Fight against Diseases (DELM)) ;
  • Abousselham, Loubna (Direction of Population, Ministry of Health) ;
  • Lyoussi, Badiaa (Laboratory of Physiology, Pharmacology and Environmental Health, Faculty of Science, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah) ;
  • Bekkali, Rachid (Fondation Lalla Salma Prevention and Treatment of Cancers) ;
  • Nejjari, Chakib (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah)
  • Published : 2015.10.06


Background: Breast cancer is commonly diagnosed at late stages in countries with limited resources. In Morocco, breast cancer is ranked the first female cancer (36.1%) and screening methods could reduce the proportion presenting with a late diagnosis. Morocco is currently adopting a breast cancer screening program based on clinical examination at primary health facilities, diagnosis at secondary level and treatment at tertiary level. So far, there is no systematic information on the performance of the screening program for breast cancer in Morocco. The aim of this study was to analyze early performance indicators. Materials and Methods: A retrospective evaluative study conducted in Temara city. The target population was the entire female population aged between 45-70 years. The study was based on process and performance indicators collected at the individual level from the various health structures in Tamara between 2009 and 2011. Results: A total of 2,350 women participated in the screening program; the participation rate was 35.7%. Of these, 76.8% (1,806) were married and 5.2% (106) of this group had a family history of breast cancer. Of the women who attended screening, 9.3% (190) were found to have an abnormal physical examination findings. A total of 260 (12.7%) were referred for a specialist consultation. The positive predictive value of clinical breast examination versus mammography was 23.0%. Forty four (35.5%) of the lesions found on the mammograms were classified as BI-RADs 3; 4 or 5 category. Cancer was found in 4 (1.95%) of the total number of screened women and benign cases represented 0.58%. Conclusions: These first results of the programme are very encouraging, but there is a need to closely monitor performance and to improve programme procedures with the aim of increasing both the participation rate and the proportion of women eligible to attend screening.


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