A global review of breast cancer patients reveals that approximately 2 million women end up developing breast cancer or cervical cancer every year. These cancers continue to be the primary cause of death in younger women and the incidences of breast cancer have been on the rise for the past three decades.
Results of a study funded by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation show that the number of breast cancer cases has risen from 641,000 incidences in 1980 to 1.6 million incidences in 2010. These startling numbers are prompting researchers to take an even closer look at what the root cause of breast cancer is, and why some women in certain countries have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others.
The study reveals that approximately 425,000 women die of breast cancer every year. Women in developing countries may be at a higher risk for developing breast cancer and dying from it because they cannot get the treatment they need to stop the tumor from spreading.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation based in Seattle shared the results of a study about non-communicable diseases including cancer at a summit in New York recently. The review states, “As high-income countries enjoy the benefit of early cancer screenings, drug therapies and vaccines, the burden of breast and cervical cancer is shifting to low-income countries in Africa and Asia. Within those countries, more women are developing breast and cervical cancer during their reproductive years, adding more pressure on societies already suffering from high rates of infectious disease and child mortality.”
The study also finds that death from breast or cervical cancer may soon match or exceed the death rates associated with pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries.
If you have yet to get a mammogram or breast cancer screening, set up an appointment with a family physician in your area.