Breast cancer rates increase worldwide

Sep 16, 2011 12:00 AM

The number of new breast cancer cases diagnosed worldwide has risen dramatically by 260 % to more than 1.6 mm people.
Researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) of the University of Washington analyzed cancer registries and other data from 187 countries.

The new estimate showed that there were about 2 mm new cases of breast and cervical cancer, which caused 625,000 deaths in 2010.
The global rate of breast cancer increased significantly from around 640,000 cases in 1980 to over 1.6 mm in 2010 while ovarian cancer rates increased much slower and killed fewer women during the same period of time.

Cervical cancer rose from 378,000 new cases in 1980 to about 454,000 patients in 2010, with most cases reported in the developing world.
While breast cancer kills 425,000 women a year, cervical cancer is responsible for about 200,000 deaths annually.

The new estimates reported in the journal Lancet, also suggest that about 343,000 women die in childbirth each year, most of them in the developing world.
Childbirth and pregnancy complications used to be among the leading causes of death in women of reproductive age in the developing countries but the new figures suggest that breast and cervical cancer deaths are starting to overtake in poorer countries.

"We have poured an enormous amount of resources into addressing the serious concern of maternal mortality worldwide, and we've seen a great deal of progress,” said co-author Dr Alan Lopez from the University of Queensland, Australia.
“To expand that commitment, breast and cervical cancer need to become a standard part of the efforts aimed at saving more mothers' lives.”

The increase of malignancies including breast cancer can be partly explained by aging but global growth of unhealthy lifestyles such as being sedentary, obese and eating unhealthy and fatty food may have a more crucial role.
“The main known risk factors for breast cancer -- poor diet and obesity -- are now becoming more commonplace in poor countries,” said Dr Rafael Lozano from the IHME.

Scientists noted that lower deaths due to breast and ovarian cancer in some developed countries suggest that applying good preventive and screening measures as well as effective treatment may significantly decrease global deaths caused by these malignancies.

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