African Female Breast Cancer Epidemiology (AFBRECANE) Study
Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women globally and it is increasingly overtaking cervical cancer as
the commonest female cancer in low and middle income countries (LMIC). The incidence of breast cancer
Nigeria was 54.3 per 100,000 per year (24,750 new cases per year) in 2014 representing a rise from 20 per
100,000 in the 1970s (3,000 new cases per year). It is now a major cancer burden in Nigerian women. There
are controversies about the epidemiology and molecular subtypes of breast cancer in African women including
limited knowledge about the incidence of breast cancer and determinants of this incidence such as the role of
different risk factors; incidence and prevalence of molecular subtypes of breast cancer and the contributions of
indigenous African diets to breast cancer incidence. In the absence of prospective cohort studies, we engage
innovative research design and analytic techniques to use data from population based cancer registries
(PBCR) to study the epidemiological factors associated with incident breast cancer and molecular subtypes.
There has also never been a genome wide association study (GWAS) of breast cancer in general and of
molecular subtypes of breast cancer in indigenous African women.
While many researchers suggest that African diets are associated with reduced risks of breast cancer, there
have been very few systematic studies. We use the nutrition epidemiology tools that we previously developed
and validated to study dietary intakes and breast cancer risk in African women. We focus in particular on the
role of vitamin D and explore potential associations with breast cancer using nutrition epidemiology and
genomics epidemiology tools.
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