Over the last 25 years, the detection and management of breast cancer has changed significantly. A new analysis shows that, over this period, rates of breast cancer deaths have fallen in most of the 47 countries examined. However, it also highlights some significant exceptions, particularly in South Korea and parts of Latin America.
women wearing pink and breast cancer ribbons.
Researchers suggest that contrasts in healthcare systems and patient management between similar countries could explain disparities in breast cancer death rate. The results of the study were recently presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women – both in the developed and the developing world, say the World Health Organization (WHO). The United Nations agency maintains that the cornerstone of breast cancer control is early detection in order to improve outcomes and survival.
Cécile Pizot – of the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, and lead author of the new study – says that worldwide, breast cancer accounts for a quarter of all cancers in women.
Biggest decline in deaths occurred in England and Wales
The analysis shows that deaths to breast cancer fell in 39 of 47 countries – including the United States and most of the developed countries in Europe. The biggest decline in breast cancer deaths over the 26-year period – a drop of 46 percent – occurred in England and Wales.
Pizot says this was no surprise, because of the improvements there have been in detection and treatment over recent decades. The analysis also highlights disparities in other parts of the world. For instance, in Latin America, while breast cancer rates for women of all ages have dropped in Argentina and Chile, they have gone up in Brazil and Colombia. The steepest increase in breast cancer mortality occurred in South Korea – both overall and in individual age groups. In total, the East Asian nation has seen an 83 percent rise in breast cancer deaths in the 1987-2013 period.
Read the full article: “Breast Cancer Deaths Have Dropped In Many Countries”