Global Rates of Breast, Cervical Cancer Up Over Last 20 Years

Increase in breast cancer mortality, decrease in cervical cancer mortality rates during same period

THURSDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The global incidence of breast and cervical cancer increased from 1980 to 2010, with breast cancer mortality rates increasing and cervical cancer mortality rates decreasing during the same period, according to a study published online Sept. 15 in The Lancet.

Mohammad H. Forouzanfar, M.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues evaluated annual age-specific breast and cervical cancer incidence in 187 countries to analyze global trends between the years 1980 and 2010. Data for mortality and incidence, vital registration, and verbal autopsy from 1980 to 2010 were collected from cancer registries. Mortality-to-incidence ratios were modeled and mortality rates were calculated. Estimates of mortality with uncertainty by age, gender, country, and year were made, and a final model selected.

The investigators found that, between 1980 and 2010, the incidence of global breast cancer increased (from 641,000 to 1,643,000 cases per year), as did the incidence of global cervical cancer (378,000 to 454,000 cases per year), with an annual rate of increase of 3.1 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Breast and cervical cancer caused 425,000 and 200,000 female deaths in 2010, respectively, but overall cervical cancer deaths have been decreasing. Of these, 68,000 breast cancer deaths and 46,000 cervical cancer deaths were of women aged between 15 and 49 years in developing countries. Considerable variation in breast cancer mortality trends was found across regions and countries.

"More policy attention is needed to strengthen established health-system responses to reduce breast and cervical cancer, especially in developing countries," the authors write.

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