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1.  Differences in Reliability of Reproductive History Recall Among Women in North Africa 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in North Africa. Women in this region have unique reproductive profiles. It is essential to obtain reliable information on reproductive histories to help better understand the relationship between reductive health and breast cancer. We tested the reliability of a reproductive history-based questionnaire. We interviewed 25 breast cancer patients and 25 non-cancer controls from hospitals in Morocco and Egypt about their reproductive history in colloquial Arabic. The questions included pregnancy history, breastfeeding practices, menstruation, contraceptive use and knowledge of breast screening and re-interviewed the same women after 2 weeks. Two-way paired t-test was used to compare observed mean changes in response, and the Fishers Exact test was used for small-cell data. Pearson's correlation test was used to estimate the correlation of subjects’ responses to continuous questions between the first and second interview. For categorical questions, percentage of agreement was calculated along with Cohen’s Kappa Coefficient values. Moroccan subjects showed good to excellent agreement for responses to all demographic and reproductive questions (r = 0.87 to 0.99). Egyptian subjects had excellent agreement for these questions(r = 0.87 to 0.99), except for those regarding duration of oral contraceptive pill use and reported age at menarche (r = 0.72 and 0.59, respectively). We showed highly correlated responses to most reproductive questions. Duration of contraception use and age at first pregnancy elicited slightly less than reliable responses. In Egypt, responses relating to self-reported age at menarche were less reliable than those given by Moroccan subjects. Future epidemiological studies should take these differences into account when constructing reproductive history questionnaires.
PMCID: PMC4304644  PMID: 25620888
Breast Cancer; Reproductive Factors; Reliability; Egypt; Morocco
2.  Differences in Molecular Pathologic Characteristics of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma between Egyptian and Moroccan Patients 
Middle East journal of cancer  2010;1(1):27-36.
Pancreatic cancer has not been well studied, especially in developing countries.
Materials and Methods
We studied the variations in genetic mutations in pancreatic adenocarcinoma between Moroccan and Egyptian populations. The molecular pathology of 30 tumors from a large hospital in Casablanca, Morocco were examined and compared with the findings of 44 tumors from the Gharbiah Governate in Egypt. K-ras mutations in codons12 and 13 in addition to p53 mutations in exons 5–8 were evaluated.
Overall, differences in the rates of K-ras mutations were not statistically significant (48.00 and 34.09%, respectively); however differences in rates of p53 mutations were statistically significant with p53 mutations more common in Moroccan tumors than in Egyptian tumors (46.67 and 16.28%, respectively). GT mutations of the K-ras gene were most commonly seen Egyptian tumors, whereas G → A mutations were the most common type of mutations in Moroccan tumors. Logistic regression analysis showed that a p53 mutation in any exon as well as a p53 mutation in exon 5 predicted the country of residence and those mutations occurred more frequently in Moroccan patients.
Our study shows that differences exist within the Arab population in the molecular pathology of both the K-ras and p53 genes. Further studies are necessary to clarify the differences in molecular pathways of pancreatic cancer in the Middle East and to investigate the role of environmental and/or genetic factors related to those pathways.
PMCID: PMC4295658  PMID: 25598952
Pancreatic Cancer; Molecular Pathology; K-ras; p53; Egypt; Morocco
3.  Cervical Cancer Screening Practice and Knowledge Among Hispanic Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers of Michigan 
High incidence of cervical cancer among Hispanics and low utilization of cervical screening among farmworkers led us to examine Pap test use and knowledge among Hispanic farmworkers in Michigan.
Patients and potential patients of Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc were surveyed in 2 communities (A and B) about their screening knowledge, attitudes, and practice.
In all, 324 farmworkers participated, including 184 seasonal and 125 migrant farmworkers. Among the entire study population, 87.7% women reported receiving a Pap test recently, with no difference between migrant and seasonal farmworkers (88.0% and 87.4%, respectively, P = .088). More women from community B reported a recent Pap (93%) compared with those from community A (83%, P = .01). Only 35% of the participants had knowledge of any cervical cancer risk factors.
Migrant farmworkers may not experience more difficulty in accessing Pap tests than seasonal farmworkers in Michigan. Knowledge about cervical cancer risk factors is low and needs to be addressed in future educational interventions.
PMCID: PMC4276026  PMID: 23799709
cervical cancer; farmworkers; Hispanic; rural population
5.  Traditional Herbalists and Cancer Management in Kumasi, Ghana 
Cancer incidence rates are increasing in sub-Saharan Africa where traditional medical practitioners (TMPs) are involved in cancer management. Little is known about the specific role that TMPs play in cancer management in Ghana; we hypothesize that an understanding of the practices of TMPs with regard to cancer patients would help to enhance literacy about cancer amongst TMPs and would contribute to the diagnosis of cancer at earlier stages, by avoiding the detrimental delays while enlisting their help in certain activities that enhance cancer care. To elucidate the nature of the involvement of TMPs in cancer management, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 42 TMPs who practice in Kumasi, Ghana. The interviews elicited information about their knowledge and practices regarding cancer management and interactions with local hospitals. The results showed that TMPs tended to identify cancers as diseases of visible masses, fungating lesions, ulceration, and bleeding reflecting the advanced stages and types of cancers they usually encounter. TMPs identified certain causes of cancer and believed that they can treat and prevent cancer. These results indicate that TMPs are significant health service delivery resources in Ghana for patients potentially affected with cancer. Our work suggests that dedicated efforts to further integrate TMPs into the overall health care system would be beneficial to patients. Future research should examine the role of cancer education and training programs for TMPs to enhance their knowledge, strengthen their ability to complement allopathic practitioners, and increase early detection and treatment efforts through appropriate and timely referrals.
PMCID: PMC4276030  PMID: 22549472
Traditional herbalists; Cancer; Epidemiology; Ghana
6.  Patterns of hepatocellular carcinoma incidence in Egypt from a population-based cancer registry 
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is increasing worldwide, and is frequently attributed to rising rates of hepatitis C virus infection and interactions between viral and environmental risk factors. Because of Egypt’s unique risk factor profile, we analyzed data from the Gharbiah Population-Based Cancer Registry for the period 1999–2003 to characterize demographic and geographic patterns of cases in this province.
We calculated age- and sex-specific and age- and sex-standardized HCC incidence rates for the eight districts in Gharbiah. We also compared rates from Gharbiah with the USA (US Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results [SEER] database).
The analysis revealed a higher incidence in males than in females, significant geographic variations among districts, and a higher incidence in Gharbiah than that reported by SEER.
The findings of this study document the heterogeneous distribution of HCC at regional and international levels. This population-based registry offers the opportunity for careful representative studies of various etiologies, particularly infectious and/or environmental factors that may contribute to risk.
PMCID: PMC4276031  PMID: 18042228
age-specific rates; developing countries; geographic variation; liver cancer; USA
7.  Epidemiologic profile of pediatric brain tumors in Morocco 
Brain tumors are the most common solid tumors diagnosed among children below 15 years worldwide. However, little is known about the profile of pediatric brain tumors in Africa. The purpose of this study was to further elaborate the epidemiological profile of pediatric brain tumors in Africa, specifically Morocco.
A retrospective review was conducted of all patients with primary brain tumors in the age group 0–19 years, from 2003 to 2007, from multiple centers in two cities of Rabat and Casablanca, Morocco. Only patients with histopathological confirmation were included (n=542). Descriptive epidemiologic profiles were created for the patients by age, sex, and histological subtypes of brain tumors.
Overall medulloblastoma was the most common brain tumor (34.5%), followed by pilocytic astrocytoma (17.3%) and diffuse astrocytoma grade 2 (12.5%). Brain tumors occurred most commonly in 5–9-year age group followed by 10–14-year age group with the former being more common among males and the latter being more common among females. We also found medulloblastoma to be the most common brain tumor in the 0–14-year-olds.
In this rare study focused on pediatric brain tumors in Morocco, most of the findings were consistent with past studies from other parts of the world. However, we found medulloblastoma to be the most common pediatric brain tumor followed by astrocytoma.
PMCID: PMC4276037  PMID: 20179946
Pediatric brain tumors; Central nervous system; Descriptive epidemiology; Morocco; Africa
8.  Career Development Needs Assessment in Cancer Prevention and Control: Focus on Research in Minority and International Settings 
This study was conducted as a needs assessment to inform the development of an educational program designed to provide mentorship and skills supporting careers in cancer research, with a focus on domestic minority populations and international settings. The objectives were to determine: (1) the level of interest among trainees in careers in cancer research and (2) preferences and constraints constituted by potential components, features, and duration of the proposed extramural training program. The target populations were participants and directors of federal training programs in cancer research, specifically (1) trainees in the NCI—K01, K07, and K08 programs, as well as the Department of Defense (DoD) Breast and Prostate Control Programs and (2) PIs of NCI R25 training programs and federally designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. We developed, piloted, and administered electronically a survey to elicit perspectives of trainees’ career development needs and preferences. Response rates from each training group exceeded 65%, with the exception of the K08 trainees (49%). The proportion of cancer research trainees who are interested in careers that include research on US minority groups was 70% of K01 trainees, 72% of K07 trainees, 45% of K08 trainees, and 75% of DoD trainees. A substantial percent of these trainees indicated their plans also include cancer research in international settings: 60% of K01s; 50% of K07s, 42% of K08s, and 87% of DoD trainees. Trainees identified substantial interest in a program that would provide the following: mentoring, manuscript writing skills, collaborative research in special populations, financial support, and focused modular courses. This study offers encouraging evidence of interest which focused in extra-mural education to augment skills facilitating cancer-related research in special populations.
PMCID: PMC4276038  PMID: 21681434
Cancer education; Disparities; Special populations; Mentoring; Extramural training
9.  Factors Associated with Breast Cancer Screening in Asian Indian Women in Metro-Detroit 
Few studies have examined social factors related to breast cancer screening in Asian Indian women in the Midwestern US. This cross-sectional, community-based survey utilized constructs of the Health Belief Model to examine factors associated with breast cancer screening among Asian Indian women in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan. Of the 160 participants, 63.8% reported receiving both a clinical breast exam and mammogram within the past 2 years. Women were more likely to screen for breast cancer if they had a college education, lived in the US for more years, perceived that breast cancer screening is useful in detecting breast cancer early, agreed that mammography was important, and received a recommendation by a healthcare provider to get a mammogram. These findings highlight the need for further research on regional differences in breast cancer screening knowledge, behaviors and predictors among Asian Pacific Islanders subgroups such as Asian Indian women who recently immigrated to the US.
PMCID: PMC4276127  PMID: 19629691
Asian Indian; Asian Pacific Islander; Breast cancer; Cancer screening; Health belief model
10.  Clinical and Epidemiologic Profile of Breast Cancer in Tanzania 
Breast disease  2010;31(1):33-41.
Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease globally. Public health prevention measures require an understanding of the burden of breast cancer and its risk factors. The purpose of this study was to describe the clinical, pathologic, and epidemiologic characteristics of breast cancer patients in Tanzania.
Data was abstracted from the medical records of all breast cancer patients attending Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) over a 2-year period from July 2007 to June 2009. Tumor tissue paraffin blocks were collected for all patients with available tissues for the determination of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR). Data for all patients was analyzed descriptively and by using unconditional logistic regression, by comparing early stage (ES), defined as stages I and II and late stage (LS), defined as stages III and IV patients to obtain odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and P -values.
Among the 488 patients, stage was determined for 356 patients, 90.7% of whom presented in LS. Of the 57 tumor tissues, 49.1% were ER−/PR−. Patients with ulceration (OR = 4.97; 95% CI = 1.07, 23.04; p = 0.04) and peau d’orange (OR = 6.78; 95% CI = 1.48, 31.17; p = 0.01) were more likely to present in LS rather than ES. Male breast cancer accounted for 2.9% of all breast cancers and inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) comprised 4.3–5.5% of cases based on registered t4d diagnosis or the criteria of IBC signs, if t4d was not reported in the medical records.
Most breast cancer patients in Tanzania are diagnosed at advanced disease stages with about half of the tumors being ER−/PR−. These data strongly support that reducing barriers to care, down-staging of disease at diagnosis, implementation of clinical guidelines for management of advanced cases, and palliative care are the four most essential factors that need to be addressed to reduce morbidity and mortality from breast cancer in Tanzania. Further research is needed to quantify the magnitude and molecular features of two relatively rare forms of breast cancer that may account for a greater proportion of the burden of breast cancer in Tanzania compared to the USA and Western Europe: male breast cancer and IBC.
PMCID: PMC4276128  PMID: 21109721
Breast cancer; epidemiology; Tanzania; Sub-Saharan Africa; male breast cancer; inflammatory breast cancer
11.  Androgen receptor polyglutamine tract length in Egyptian male breast cancer patients 
Male Breast Cancer (MBC) is a rare disease in the U.S., accounting for less than 1% of all breast cancers. Rates of MBC in Africa are more variable than in the U.S., therefore, understanding the risk factors involved in a population like Egypt can clarify the nature of MBC. The polyglutamine tract (QT) is a variable region of the androgen receptor (AR), a nuclear receptor which is important in modulating androgen actions and generally inhibits growth in breast tissue. It is hypothesized that a long QT results in weaker AR activity over the lifetime, resulting in less AR mediated control over cellular division and higher risk of MBC. As a corollary, we expect to see a distribution skewed toward longer QTs in MBC patients compared to controls and overall relatively longer QT’s in populations with higher rates of MBC. This study aimed to investigate for the first time the distribution of AR QT lengths among MBC patients in Egypt. Paraffin-embedded tumor tissues from 44 Egyptian MBC patients were analyzed for this polymorphism. Amplification followed by fragment length analysis revealed QT length. For the control series, blood from 43 Egyptian males without a family or personal history of breast or prostate cancers was collected and analyzed similarly. There was no significant difference between patients and controls with respect to mean QT length (P = 0.84; means were 19.5 ± 2.8 and 19.3 ± 4.2, for patients and controls, respectively). Though, short QT lengths were more prevalent among controls (14.0%), but almost absent in cases (2.3%). Although the mean lengths were not different in cases and controls, the near absence of short tracts in cases suggests a possible protective effect of very short QT lengths against MBC. In populations in which there is variable incidence of MBC by region, investigations of the distribution of AR QT lengths are warranted to further delineate its role as a risk factor in MBC.
PMCID: PMC4276133  PMID: 21505847
Androgen receptor; Male breast cancer; CAG repeat; Polymorphism; Developing countries; Egypt
12.  Clinical profile, BRCA2 expression, and the androgen receptor CAG repeat region in Egyptian and Moroccan male breast cancer patients 
Breast disease  2011;33(1):17-26.
Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare disease. Rates of MBC in Northern Africa vary by region. The age-standardized incidence for MBC is higher in Morocco than in Egypt, and the Egyptian rate is similar to the U.S of approximately 1/105 . This study aimed at investigating the clinical and molecular characteristics of MBC in Egypt and Morocco.
This case-case study included 211 cases from Egypt and 132 from Morocco. Tumor tissues were available for 47 Egyptian and 18 Moroccan patients. Medical record information was abstracted for patients’ demographics, medical history, and treatment. BRCA2 protein expression status was examined in Egyptian and Moroccan tumors. Androgen receptor CAG repeat length was analyzed using the tissue samples in Egyptian MBC tumors and controls. Limited amount of tissues from Morocco did not allow for the analysis of CAG repeats.
Egyptian MBC patients had a significantly lower age at diagnosis (Egypt: 57.5 ± 15.1, Morocco: 63.9 ± 14.4, P = 0.0002) and a higher prevalence of liver cirrhosis (Egypt: 28.0%, Morocco: 0.8%, P =< 0.0001). MBC patients also had higher tumor grades [I (0.9%), II (81.0%), III (18.1%)] in Egypt vs. [I (10.7%), II (81.0%), III (8.3%)] in Morocco (P = 0.0017). The clinical and molecular characteristics of the groups from the 2 countries did not significantly differ. There was no significant difference with respect to BRCA2 expression amongst countries (Egypt: 28.9% non-wild type, Morocco: 27.8% non-wild type, P = 0.9297) or CAG lengths amongst BRCA2 expression types in Egyptians (Wild type: 54.6% with CAG repeat lengths of 20+, Non-wild type: 50% with CAG repeat lengths of 20+, P = 0.7947).
Differences in MBC between Egypt and Morocco are more likely due to differences in other risk factors such as consanguinity and use of xenoestrogenic pesticides.
PMCID: PMC4276136  PMID: 22142662
Male breast cancer; breast cancer; Egypt; Morocco; developing countries
13.  Public and Professional Educational Needs for Downstaging Breast Cancer in Egypt 
We conducted focus groups with women from urban and rural areas in the Nile Delta region to investigate their attitudes regarding breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and screening. Six 60-min focus groups, each group comprised of 6–10 women with ages between 20–69 years, were conducted. Discussions included breast health, breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, early detection and screening, and communication for breast health. Almost all urban and rural women reported that women do not see physicians until they are seriously ill or have advanced cancer. They reported that oncologists or gynecologists were important to be seen first if a woman suspected breast cancer and primary care physician are not the primary line of cancer diagnosis. Other deterring factors besides distrust in primary care physicians included attitude that breast cancer equals death and lack of knowledge of early detection and screening techniques. Women felt that public education campaigns must be implemented to improve early detection and screening methods for breast cancer. The majority of beliefs regarding breast cancer and screening were common among urban and rural women. Culture-specific and tailored professional and public education programs in developing countries are essential for achieving downstaging cancer.
PMCID: PMC4276029  PMID: 22057985
Urban/rural; Breast cancer; Attitudes; Egypt
14.  Tribal Linkage and Race Data Quality for American Indians in a State Cancer Registry 
Racial misclassification of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) individuals as non-AI/AN in cancer registries presents problems for cancer surveillance, research, and public health practice. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficiency of tribal linkages in enhancing the quality of racial information in state cancer registries.
Registry Plus™ Link Plus 2.0 probabilistic record linkage software was used to link the Michigan state cancer registry data (1985–2004; 1,031,168 cancer cases) to the tribal membership roster (40,340 individuals) in July of 2007. A data set was created containing AI/AN cancer cases identified by the state registry, Indian Health Service (IHS) linkages, and tribal linkage. The differences between these three groups of individuals were compared by distribution of demographic, diagnostic, and county-level characteristics using multilevel analysis (conducted in 2007–2008).
From 1995 to 2004, the tribal enrollment file showed linkages to 670 cancer cases (583 individuals) and the tribal linkage led to the identification of 190 AI/AN cancer cases (168 individuals) that were classified as non-AI/AN in the registry. More than 80% of tribal members were reported as non-AI/AN to the registry. Individuals identified by IHS or tribal linkages were different from those reported to be AI/AN in terms of stage at diagnosis, tumor confirmation, and characteristics of the county of diagnosis, including contract health services availability, tribal health services availability, and proportion of AI/AN residents.
The data linkage between tribal and state cancer registry data sets improved racial classification validity of AI/AN Michigan cancer cases. Assessing tribal linkages is a simple, noninvasive way to improve the accuracy of state cancer data for AI/AN populations and to generate tribe-specific cancer information.
PMCID: PMC4274940  PMID: 19356888
15.  Patterns of seeking medical care among Egyptian breast cancer patients: Relationship to late-stage presentation 
Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland)  2011;20(6):555-561.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Egyptian women, accounting for 37.6% of female tumors, and is often diagnosed at later stages. The objective of this study was to investigate breast cancer patient navigation through the health care system in the Nile Delta. Interviews were conducted with 163 newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at the Tanta Cancer Center (TCC), the major cancer center of the region. Patients described their medical care pathway from the initial symptom experienced until their arrival at TCC. Patients whose initial contact was with a general surgeon (OR: 7.6, 95% CI: 2.1, 27.6), primary care provider (OR: 12.2, 95% CI: 2.9, 51.0), or gynecologist (OR: 8.6, 95% CI: 1.4, 53.4) were significantly more likely to experience a delay in reaching the TCC as compared to those visiting a surgical oncologist. Overcoming health care system and patient navigation barriers in developing countries may reduce the time for breast cancer patients to reach a cancer center for early management.
PMCID: PMC4274941  PMID: 21807518
Breast cancer; Medical care; Referral; Patient navigation; Egypt; Developing countries
16.  Establishing Effective Registration Systems in Resource-Limited Settings: Cancer Registration in Kumasi, Ghana 
Journal of registry management  2013;40(2):70-77.
Cancer control programs are needed worldwide to combat the increases in cancer incidence and mortality predicted for sub-Saharan Africa in the next decades. The effective design, implementation, and evaluation of such programs require population-based cancer registries. Ghana’s second largest medical center, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, has made initial progress at developing a cancer registry. This registry, however, is housed in the medical oncology/radiotherapy center at KATH and does not currently include data from other departments that also interact with cancer patients. The aim of this study was to improve KATH cancer registration by compiling cancer data from other major departments that see cancer patients. Using recent population estimates, we calculated crude cancer incidence rates of the “minimally-reported cases” for the Ashanti region. The most common cancers found in this study were breast (12.6 per 100,000), cervix (9.2 per 100,000), and prostate (8.8 per 100,000). These cancers occur at similar crude incidence rates in other West African countries. Females had overall higher incidence rates than males, which is consistent throughout the West African region. This study identified a number of methodological challenges facing cancer registries in Ghana that can be addressed to improve the quality of cancer registries in other resource-limited settings. Such registries should be tailored to the local health system context. A lack of coordination among the sources reporting cancer cases and a lack of understanding of local health-care systems and payment plans may interfere with the quality, completeness, and comparability of data from cancer registries in resource-limited settings. Steps, barriers, and solutions for improving cancer registration in Ghana and countries at similar levels are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4274943  PMID: 24002131
cancer registration; cancer; epidemiology; Ghana; developing countries
17.  The changing patterns of bladder cancer in Egypt over the past 26 years 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2008;19(4):421-429.
To evaluate temporal changes in histopathological types of bladder cancer and to assess associated changes in demographic, epidemiologic, and lifestyle risk factors.
We abstracted data from all available medical records from the National Cancer Institute of Cairo University (NCI-Cairo). Six calendar years representing 5-year periods between 1980 and 2005 were evaluated. Information on demographics, schistosomal infection, clinical symptoms of bladder cancer, and tumor pathology was abstracted.
During this 26-year period, important changes in the frequency of histopathological types of bladder cancer occurred. We found a statistically significant association between time period of diagnosis and histopathological type. Patients diagnosed in 2005 had a sixfold higher odds associated with transitional cell carcinoma compared to those patients diagnosed in 1980 (odds ratio (OR) 6.00 (95% CI 4.00–8.97)).
These data strongly suggest that the histopathological profile of bladder cancer in Egypt has changed significantly over the past 26 years. Historically, squamous cell carcinoma was the predominant form of bladder cancer in Egypt; however transitional cell carcinoma has become the most frequent type. These results corroborate findings from a few small-scale hospital-based studies which conclude that the etiology of bladder cancer in Egypt has changed significantly over the past 26 years.
PMCID: PMC4274945  PMID: 18188671
Bladder cancer; Schistosomiasis; Histopathology; Epidemiologic trends; Egypt
18.  Attitudes of Cairo University medical students toward smoking: the need for tobacco control programs in medical education 
Tobacco smoking rates are increasing in developing countries and so are tobacco-related chronic diseases. Reported figures from the WHO show rates of smoking in Egypt as high as 20% but limited information is available about smoking specifically among physicians and medical students.
Materials and methods
Final-year medical students of Cairo University were surveyed regarding their tobacco behavior and attitudes using a modified Global Health Professions Student Survey. We approached 220 students by randomly selecting clinical units into which they were assigned and requested completion of the survey.
Ever users of some form of tobacco comprised 46.7% of students sampled, current users of cigarettes comprised 17.4%, and current users of water pipe ‘sheesha’ comprised 17.6%. The vast majority (87.7%) of students believed that smoking is a public health problem in Cairo and supported restriction of tobacco. Yet, only 58.5% stated that they were taught it is important for physicians to provide tobacco education materials to patients. Among ever users of cigarettes, 54.4% believed health professionals do not serve as health role models for patients, and only a small percentage of all students (34.2%) stated that they had received some form of training on smoking cessation in their medical curriculum to be able to instruct patients.
Conclusion and recommendations
A high rate of smoking was revealed among medical students in Cairo. Overall, approximately 23.4% of students were currently smoking cigarettes and/or sheesha, and 46.7% were ever users of some form of tobacco. A formal antitobacco program for medical students should be incorporated into their medical curriculum to change the attitudes of medical students and overcome the anticipated increase in chronic diseases in Egypt.
PMCID: PMC4274946  PMID: 22415329
curriculum; Egypt; medical students; tobacco
19.  Research Training of Students in Minority and International Settings: Lessons Learned from Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations 
This article describes the development and evaluation of an NCI-sponsored short-term summer cancer research education program. The study questions examined: the feasibility of conducting a cancer education program in special populations at multiple US and international field sites for masters students; the merit and worth that students and faculty attribute to the program; and students' scholarly and cancer-related career outcomes. Developing a new curriculum, increasing the pool of mentors, utilizing and increasing the number of field sites, and program dissemination were also evaluated. Evidence of the program's success included students' completion of field experiences at multiple sites and their subsequent 70% project-related publication rate, with 79% of trainees reporting themselves as likely to pursue future cancer-related careers. Evaluation-guided future plans for the program include implementing faculty development to further enhance the program outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4274950  PMID: 20352397
Research training; Minority; Lessons; Cancer epidemiology; Education; Special populations
20.  Androgen profiles among Egyptian adults considering liver status 
Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology  2007;23(7 0 2):e137-e145.
Background and aim
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and environmental hepatotoxins may have an indirect influence on health by altering the synthesis and function of hormones, particularly reproductive hormones. We aimed to evaluate liver diseases and sex steroid hormones in Egypt, which has the highest prevalence of HCV worldwide.
We measured markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV), HCV and schistosomiasis infection as well as liver function in 159 apparently healthy subjects. We measured total testosterone (T), sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and albumin, and calculated the free androgen index.
Anti-HCV antibodies were detected in 51% of men and 42% of women. Based on HCV reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) of 44 men and 33 women, 11% of men and 21% of women showed HCV viremia. There was schistosomiasis in 25% of men and 9% of women, and mixed HCV viremia and schistosomiasis in 57% of men and 52% of women. Compared with men with schistosomiasis only (mean 593.3 ± 73.4 ng/dL), T was higher in men with mixed HCV viremia and schistosomiasis (mean 854.5 ± 47.9 ng/dL; P = 0.006) and men with mixed chronic HCV and schistosomiasis (mean 812.1 ± 43.3 ng/dL; P = 0.001). Men with mixed chronic HCV and schistosomiasis had also significantly higher SHBG (mean 57.7 ± 3.9 ng/dL) than males with schistosomiasis only (mean 34.8 ± SE 4.5 ng/dL; P = 0.0003).
Future investigations should consider that a high prevalence of asymptomatic liver disease may alter associations between hormone concentrations and chronic disease etiology.
PMCID: PMC4275097  PMID: 17524040
androgen; Egypt; hepatitis; hormones; liver
21.  A Comparison of Criteria to Identify Inflammatory Breast Cancer Cases from Medical Records and the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Data base, 2007–2009 
The breast journal  2013;20(2):185-191.
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a relatively rare and extremely aggressive form of breast cancer that is diagnosed clinically. Standardization of clinical diagnoses is challenging, both nationally and internationally; moreover, IBC coding definitions used by registries have changed over time. This study aimed to compare diagnostic factors of IBC reported in a U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry to clinical criteria found in the medical records of all invasive breast cancer cases at a single institution. We conducted a medical record review of all female invasive breast cancers (n = 915) seen at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in Detroit from 2007 to 2009. IBC cases were identified based on the presence of the main clinical characteristics of the disease (erythema, edema, peau d'orange). We compared the proportion of IBC out of all breast cancers, using these clinical criteria and the standard SEER IBC codes. In the reviewed cases, the clinical criteria identified significantly more IBC cases (n = 74, 8.1%) than the standard IBC SEER definition (n = 19, 2.1%; p < 0.0001). No IBC cases were identified in the cancer center records using the SEER pathologic coding, which requires the diagnosis of inflammatory carcinoma on the pathology report, a notation that is rarely made. Emphasis must be placed on the documentation of clinical and pathologic characteristics of IBC in the medical record, so that analysis of putative IBC subtypes will be possible. Our results indicate the need for a consensus on the definition of IBC to be utilized in future research.
PMCID: PMC4208694  PMID: 24372839
diagnostic criteria; inflammatory breast cancer; SEER
22.  Evaluating the Knowledge of Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention among Arab-American Women in Michigan 
Arab-American women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced staged breast cancer. We analyzed data from 100 women utilizing a breast cancer literacy assessment tool aimed at understanding functional literacy levels about breast-self exams (BSE), clinical breast exams (CBE), and mammograms. The educational program improved women's knowledge of BSE (OR=0.15; 95% CI=0.04, 0.50) and CBE (OR=0.15; 95% CI=0.04, 0.54), more for women with higher education. Consideration of women's educational status is an important factor in planning educational programs to improve knowledge on breast cancer screening and prevention in this minority population.
PMCID: PMC4192716  PMID: 20443095
Arab-American women; Functional cancer literacy; Breast cancer screening
23.  Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices for Cervical Cancer Screening Among the Bhutanese Refugee Community in Omaha, Nebraska 
Journal of community health  2014;39(5):872-878.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality among women with the vast majority of patients in developing countries. Bhutanese refugees in the United States are from South Central Asia, the 4th leading region of the world for cervical cancer incidence. Over the past few years, Bhutanese refugees have increased significantly in Nebraska. This study evaluates current knowledge of cervical cancer and screening practices among the Bhutanese refugee women in Omaha, Nebraska. The study aimed to investigate cervical cancer and screening knowledge and perceptions about the susceptibility and severity of cervical cancer and perceived benefits and barriers to screening. Self-administered questionnaires and focus groups based on the Health Belief Model were conducted among 42 healthy women from the Bhutanese refugee community in Omaha. The study revealed a significant lack of knowledge in this community regarding cervical cancer and screening practices, with only 22.2 % reporting ever hearing of a Pap test and 13.9 % reporting ever having one. Only 33.3 % of women were in agreement with their own perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer. Women who reported ever hearing about the Pap test tended to believe more strongly about curability of the disease if discovered early than women who never heard about the test (71.4 vs. 45.0 %, for the two groups. respectively). Refugee populations in the United States are in need for tailored cancer education programs especially when being resettled from countries with high risk for cancer.
PMCID: PMC4175018  PMID: 25060231
Bhutanese; Screening; Cervical cancer; Nebraska
24.  Clinical Profile, Quality of Care, and Recurrence in Arab-American and Caucasians Prostate Cancer Patients in Michigan 
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the United States with striking differences in incidence and mortality among ethnic groups. Michigan has one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans (AAs) in the U.S. and little is known about this ethnic minority with respect to prostate cancer. This study investigated differences in clinical profile, quality of care, and recurrence among prostate cancer survivors comparing AAs and Caucasian Americans (CAs). Participants in this study included 2499 prostate cancer survivors from the Michigan Cancer Registry from 1985 to 2004. Participants completed surveys regarding health-seeking behavior, post-treatment symptoms, quality of care and recurrence. Ethnicity was self-reported and AAs and CAs were compared with respect to clinical profile, quality of care, and recurrence. There were 52 AAs and 1886 CAs patients with AAs being younger (x̄ age 68.3 ± SD 21.4 years, x̄ age 72.3 ± SD 14.1 years, for AAs and CAs, respectively) (P = 0.05). AAs had lower socioeconomic standard than CAs (34 vs. 10.6 %, <$20,000 yearly income/year; for AAs vs. CAs, respectively) (P < 0.0001). AAs reported poorer health than AAs (7.7 vs. 3.0 % for AAs vs. CAs, respectively) (P < 0.0001). AAs were more likely to visit specialists for prostate follow-up (44.5 vs. 19.7 % visited a specialist, for AAs vs. CAs respectively) (P < 0.0001) and received supplementary healthcare workers (13 % of AAs vs. 3.1 % CAs) (P = 0.032). In addition, AAs reported higher occurrence of urinary incontinence compared to CAs (67.4 vs. 60.4 %, for AAs vs. CAs, respectively) (P = 0.001). Ethnic background was not a predictor of recurrence [(Odds ratio (OR) = 1.1 (95 % confidence intervals CI = 0.40, 2.9)] (P = 0.873) even after adjusting for age, PSA levels within the last 2 years, metastasis and hormonal therapy. While AAs prostate cancer patients were different from CAs in age, income, seeking medical care, and health reporting, ethnic background was not a predictor of recurrence. Future studies of the impact of socioeconomic, demographic and cultural factors, and health care seeking behavior on long-term survival of prostate cancer in AAs and other ethnic minorities are warranted.
PMCID: PMC4164151  PMID: 22763459
Prostate cancer; Arab-Americans; Ethnic minorities; Quality of care; Treatment; Survivorship
25.  Characterizing Breast Cancer Treatment Pathways in Kumasi, Ghana from Onset of Symptoms to Final Outcome: Outlook towards Cancer Control 
Breast disease  2014;34(4):139-149.
Cancer rates are increasing in Africa, including Ghana. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in incidence and mortality in Ghana.
We outlined both breast cancer patient characteristics and management at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), the main cancer management hospital in central Ghana. Moreover, we identified the treatment interventions predictive of patient outcome.
Medical records of 597 breast cancer patients seen in 2008–2011 were abstracted to investigate management and treatment patterns. Abstracted variables included type and extent of surgery, number and cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as the course of treatment completed.
Late stage at diagnosis was common, treatment plans of the study hospital were relatively standardized according to disease severity, and defaulting/interrupting treatment in the records was also common. Patients diagnosed with late stage cancer who received adjuvant therapy and patients with hormone status evaluation were more likely to have complied with treatment guidelines and continued oncotherapy at the study hospital than those who never had hormone status requested or reported.
Our study lends support to improving patient outcomes in low- and middle-income countries through raising knowledge and reporting of tumor hormonal status and providing appropriately tailored treatment. Achieving improved outcomes should also consider enhancing public understanding of the importance of early detection and completion of treatment.
PMCID: PMC4158614  PMID: 24934170
breast cancer; health systems navigation; developing countries (LMIC); Ghana

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