Deaths from breast cancer within island fall to record low


THE number of women in the island dying from breast cancer is continuing to fall.

Eleven women in Guernsey succumbed to the disease in 2007 and in the UK it has been revealed that the death rate has fallen to a record low.

Two years ago, 11,900 women died in the UK from the disease, the lowest number since records began in 1971.

Although the Guernsey figure for last year has not yet been released, it is expected to be even lower then the previous one.

Rising rates of diagnosis and better care and screening are just some of the factors that have been said to contribute to the fall.

Consultant radiologist Louise Gaunt said Guernsey's adjusted death rate from breast cancer was comparable to the UK and has been falling over the same period of time.

One area where we are ahead of the UK is that over 50% of all breast cancers were detected through screening in 2006 and 2007,' she said.

This is probably because we screen every two years rather than every three years, while our upper-age limit is higher than in the UK as we screen routinely to the age of 75 years.' Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with 45,500 women being diagnosed every year with the disease.

Guernsey's lead nurse for cancer and palliative care services, Karen Leach, said: Ongoing research to improve treatment for breast cancer, as well as heightened awareness and earlier detection through screening, have all contributed to improved survival rates.'

GEP article by Anna Brehaut

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