Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst British and American women, except for skin cancers – with about 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US and a similar stepped up incidence in Britain due to our ageing population, who will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
Recently published estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2015 are (From the American Breast Cancer Society )
- About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 40,290 women will die from breast cancer in this coming year.
America is now seeing a decrease in morbidity and incidence of Breast Cancer since 2000, with a significant drop of 7% between 2002 to 2003. This large decrease was thought to be due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002 in the States. This controversial study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. In recent years, incidence rates have been stable in white women, but have increased slightly in African American women. There is similar concern in the UK as to the incidence of low and late reporting in the Black and Asian communities in the UK which requires attention.
UK figures up until 2012 which are on Breast Cancer Research’s pages note that:
- 49,936 women and 349 men in the UK were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2011
- There were 11,643 female and 73 male deaths from invasive breast cancer in the UK in 2012.
- 78% of adult female invasive breast cancer patients diagnosed in 2010-2011 in England and Wales are now predicted to survive ten or more years.
- 27% of breast cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
Next post we shall look at some of the initiatives to assist women addressing that lifestyle risk – and remember another life which was cut short too early due to this disease.
Remember test your breasts regularly (once a month is great) and report any concerning changes to your GP.
Eat well, exercise regularly and celebrate the joy of living.