Breast Cancer Statistics

About this Video

Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. Unlike cervical cancer, breast cancer is more common in rich countries than in low- and middle-income countries and also tends to increase as a country gets richer.

But with higher income there are also better chances to save women who get cancer. The data from IARC, now presented in Gapminder World shows how breast cancer has increased in countries like Sweden, but also how death rates are falling. Today, most of the women who get breast cancer in Sweden will survive.

The challenge is to make sure that also low- and middle-income countries will be able to afford treatment for its women when the number of breast cancer now will increase, as they continue to develop.

Related content

See Breast Cancer graphs in Gapminder World.
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Data source: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

10 thoughts on “Breast Cancer Statistics

  1. Would be interesting to see the new cases mapped against deodorant and antiperspirant use.
    As ever brilliant statistics visualization. Fingers crossed we can use these someday in Scotland to illuminate a few things.

  2. The statistics regarding breast cancer detection in EU are strictly correlated with frequency of mass breast cancer screening programs (based on X-ray mammography).
    However – the problem is – the stadium of breast cancers which are detected.
    X-Ray Mammography (considering the risk of radiation, the EU Commission has recommended the basic interval between two exposures, in women’s group > 50, as /no frequent than/ 24 months) returns the results according to the normal statistical distribution (in terms of breast cancer development stadium in screened population) – it means that this screening test, despite rise of general expenditures and number of screened, allows to reveal around 10% of the breast cancer’s cases in very early stage (in situ, pre-invasive).
    Increase of breast screening frequency should raise detectability of pre-invasive breast cancer. In this aspect, very promising seems to be a conclusion from i.a Keyserlingk et. al. study where was showed significant potential in terms of detectability, if at least two different diagnostic methods were employed (superaddition diagnostic). Keyserlingk et. al observed that if the X-Ray mammography was applied together with pre-screen clinical examination, the breast cancer’s detectability (in such group) was around 83%, while after association of X-Ray Mammography with pre-screening thermography detectability increased up to 93%, AND if the X-Ray mammography was associated with the clinical breast examination AND thermography – average detectability in this group was improved and reached incredible 98%!
    This is a gap (a 24-month mammographic diagnostic gap, if we stay with the X-Ray mammography only).

    best rgds,

    Dr Jacek Stepien

  3. A caution: If “survival” is defined as “Five-year Survival” rates, then increased early screening increases the percieved benefits of treatment. Women can be dubbed cured and still die of cancer in year six. It would be better to look at age at death. Five-year survival rates are misleading since early diagnosis merely shifts the five-year clock, but does not reflect whether the treatment prolonged the woman’s life.

    Also as the countries wealth increases, the amount of screen is likely to increase.

  4. The correlation between the income and breast cancer incidence SHOULD be presented with the statistics of the anti conceptional use (the pill!!) which has as side effect :….breast cancer and is used more and more as income rises!! (wealthy women are in general professional and independent and do not want kids!!) .
    Also the detection of breast cancer increases with the income!!
    Until this statistic is corrected as much as possible against these biases I think it is not useful.

  5. There are many factors that are not discussed on here that need to be. For example, in wealthier countries we have health insurance and those companies recommend and sometimes require if a doctor has felt something they think is a lump for the woman to go get screened for cancer. In that case, cancerous and benign tumors are found in women. Most often the tumors are benign. Only 1 in 8 are cancerous. Of those 1 in 8, most of the tumors are not aggressive cancers. We do not know if treatment is actually curing these women. It could be that these cancers would have stopped growing on their own with a change in diet and exercise or just a better immune response. Sometimes things in our environment or stress is causing our bodies immune systems to be weaker. There is so much we don’t understand. But I definitely agree that lifestyle and environment can lead to better or worse health.

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