Breast Cancer : The Facts


Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in Britain

  • In 2009, there were 40,260 new cases diagnosed – a fall of 16 cases on 2008.
  • Just over 9,600 women died from breast cancer in the UK in 2010, which equates to a rate of 24 deaths per 100,000 women.
  • Female breast-cancer rates have risen by 50% in the last 25 years.They have increased by 55% in the last 10 years.
  • Eight in 10 breast cancers are diagnosed in women over 50.
  • Nearly two out of three women with breast cancer now survive it beyond 20 years.
  • Worldwide, 1.38m. women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008. Western Europe has the highest incidence rates and Africa and Asia have the lowest.
  • In the 1970s, five out of 10 women survived breast cancer. Now it is more than eight out of 10.

What causes it?

  • Women with a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with the disease are at almost double the risk.
  • Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by up to 30%.
  • For women currently using hormone replacement therapy, the risk is increased by 66%.
  • For those using the oral contraceptive pill, the risk is increased by around 25%.
  • In men, causes are high oestrogen levels, exposure to radiation, family history or rare genetic condition Klinefelter’s syndrome, where a male has an extra X chromosome.
Guernsey Globe article 26/10/2011

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