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Global Network

In Brief: Breast Cancers Rise Worldwide

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Breast cancer cases and deaths 1980 - 2010.
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The number of cases of breast cancer around the world has more than doubled over the past three decades, with most of the growth occurring in developing countries, reports a new assessment of breast and cervical cancers published in The Lancet.

Breast cancer cases increased from 641,000 in 1980 to 1,643,000 cases in 2010. Global cervical cancer rates have also increased but at a smaller rate annually: 378,000 cases in 1980 to 454,000 in 2010.

Researchers collected different data sources from 187 countries, drawing upon cancer registries, studies, verbal autopsies and mortality data. The authors then developed a model to predict the incidence and number of deaths from each cancer in each country. The findings show that breast and cervical cancer in low-income countries are major causes of death for women of reproductive ages. Risk factors such as obesity may play a role, but divergent trends in countries of the same region suggest that other factors – such as genes interacting with risk factors – explain the pattern, the authors note.

In the United States, the incidence rate for breast cancer began to decline in the early 2000s and then stabilized.

To explore trends in breast and cervical cancer for women, visit the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Source: Mohammad H Forouzanfar, Kyle J Foreman, Allyne M Delossantos, Rafael Lozano, Alan D Lopez, Christopher J L Murray, Mohsen Naghavi. "Breast and cervical cancer in 187 countries between 1980 and 2010: a systematic analysis." The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 15 September 2011.

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