Breast cancer deaths fall in the UK



The latest figures analysed by Cancer Research UK show that the number of women dying from breast cancer in the UK has fallen to its lowest level since records began. In 2007, 11,990 women in the UK died from breast cancer. In 1971 – the first year statistics were collected – 12,472 women died from the disease. From 1971 onwards, the number of women dying from breast cancer rose steadily year on year, reaching a peak of 15,625 in 1989.

Experts say better treatments for breast cancer and advances in diagnosis are behind the fall in the number of deaths. Improved chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the emergence of hormone treatments such as Tamoxifen and Anastrozole help prevent the disease from coming back.

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, said: ‘It’s incredibly encouraging to see fewer women dying from breast cancer now than at any time in the last 40 years, despite breast cancer being diagnosed more often.

‘Research has played a crucial role in this progress leading to improved treatments and better management for women with the disease. The introduction of the NHS breast screening programme has also contributed as women are more likely to survive the earlier cancer is diagnosed. We hope these new figures will encourage women over the age of 47 to attend screening and to know that even if a tumour is found, their chances of beating it are better than ever.’

The risk of breast cancer increases as a woman ages, with around 80 per cent of cases in women aged 50 and over. The number of women taking HRT has been falling, leading to a reduction in breast cancer cases among women in their 50s.

Dr Sarah Cant, policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “It is great news that fewer women are dying from breast cancer and highlights the impact of improved treatments, breast screening and awareness of the disease. However, this is still too many women and incidence of the disease is increasing year on year”.

Source: Daily Mail