Despite prevention policies and ever-more effective treatments, cancer is still one of the major causes of death in Europe. One of the most widespread types is breast cancer.
An epidemic of breast cancer is sweeping Europe, with a 16 per cent increase in the malignant disease in two years. It has grown to be the most usually diagnosed cancer in Europe, in spite of the fact that it almost simply affects one sex.
Newest estimations by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, prove there were 429,900 cases diagnosed in 2006, amounting to nearly one in three of all cancers in women. In Britain, breast cancer rates have soared by more than 80 per cent in the past 30 years.
It is the first time breast cancer has out-ranked lung cancer in Europe. It is nearly solely a disease of women, with approximately 2,000 cases a year in men.
Breast cancer is the commonest malignancy amongst women in most European countries.Breast cancer is therefore a main public health problem, but with the exclusion of oral contraceptives and hormonal replacement therapy, both of which have obvious advantages as well, the known main risk factors are not agreeable to principal prevention. Mass screening of women over age 50 years by mammography has been revealed to decrease death; national mammographic screening programmes were familiarized for women aged 50-64 years in the UK from 1988 and for women aged 50-70 years in The Netherlands from 1990, and a regional scheme in Denmark was begun in 1991.
Opportunistic screening is common in numerous European countries as well. The occurrence of breast cancer has been rising in lots of countries, but the obtainable treatments have improved, survival has improved and death has started to turn down.