The Cancer Council of Victoria recently reported that more breast cancer is being detected early and women are receiving effective treatment, therefore more women are surviving.
Professor Graham Giles, Director of the Cancer Council’s Centre for Cancer Epidemiology said, ‘The statistical snapshot of breast cancer in Victoria over the last two decades shows that early detection screening programs are working and that new treatments for breast cancer have increased the number of women who survive breast cancer’.
Furthermore, ‘Incidence rates have risen by an average of 2.2% a year over the last 20 years’, Professor Giles said.
The professor said this increase in largely related to mammographic screening since the 1980’s – programs such as BreastScreen. ‘Because more women are participating in the BreastScreen program, more breast cancer is being detected early’.
‘This gives women better treatment options, and has had an impact on the death rates from breast cancer’.
‘Data shows that there is an increasing proportion of smaller breast tumours which are being picked up through screening. During the first decade of BreastScreen, this has increased from 10 to 19%’.
‘It is apparent that the death rate, which has been virtually static for decades, is now steadily declining’.
‘The breast cancer mortality rate has fallen by an average of 0.9% per year since 1982 but more rapidly since 1995’.
‘Breast cancer survival rates for Australian women have also improved between 1982 and 1997’.
‘The percentage of women who survived five years or more after diagnosis rose from 72% to 84%’.
‘Increased survival rates are due not only to mammographic screening but also due to new treatments such as Tamoxifen’.
For more information, click on the link above to go to the Cancer Council of Victoria.