Sudan Journal of Medical Sciences

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Changes in serum iron, total iron binding capacity and transferrin saturation percent in Sudanese females newly diagnosed with breast cancer at Khartoum Oncology Hospital: a case - control study

Rufaida Mustafa Ahmed Mustafa, Nazik Elmalaika Obaid Seid Ahmed Husain


Background: Iron is a vital constituent of cells but in excess may be harmful and is associated with a raised risk for some malignant diseases including breast cancer. We aimed to study changes in iron profile in Sudanese females newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methods: A case- control study in which serum iron, Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC), and transferrin saturation percent were measured for fifty females with breast cancer referred to Khartoum Oncology Hospital and seventy apparently healthy females, using manual method (IRON-FERROZINE).

Results: Mean age was 47 years and 42 years in cases and control, respectively and the mean of parity was 4 in both groups. Mean of serum iron ±SD in case group was 244.30 ± 151.598(𝜇g/dL) and in control group was 57.59 ± 43.191(𝜇g/dL) (P. value = 0.000). Mean of TIBC ±SD in cases was 412.98 ± 177.460(𝜇g/dL) and in controls it was 403.71 ± 168.765(𝜇g/dL) (P. value = 0.838). The mean of transferrin saturation percent ± SD in cases was 61.08 % ±41.523 and in controls was 223.23 % ±149.195 (P. value=0.000). The mean of TIBC in grade I 343.00(𝜇g/dL), 467.10(𝜇g/dL) in grade II and 321.25(𝜇g/dL) in grade III (P. value 0.019) according to Modified Bloom Richardson’s grading system.

Conclusion: There is a statistically significant increase in the mean of serum iron and decrease in transferrin saturation percent in women with breast cancer. TIBC vary significantly according to histopathological grade. Serum iron and transferrin saturation percent may be helpful as biochemical risk markers for breast cancer and TIBC may act as a predictor of disease grade.

Keywords: Iron profile, serum iron, TIBC, Transferrin saturation percent, breast cancer, Modified Bloom Richardson’s grading system, Sudan
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