More women are being diagnosed with and dying from breast cancer, reported the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in June 2019. Experts are now calling for greater attention to prevention and control measures, in order to offset drivers including ageing population and lifestyle changes which pushed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer death among women.
The report said that global cancer incidence jumped to more than 14 million in 2018, with some 1.7 million women diagnosed with breast cancer, an increase of 20% since 2008, while the mortality rate rose 14% over that time period with 522,000 deaths in 2018.
IARC director Dr. Christopher Wild said, “The total number of cases worldwide is continuing to increase and this is a pattern which is really reflecting the aging of the population and the increasing size of the population worldwide. But I think the second important message from this report today is that those increases are being felt particularly in the low and middle income countries, and the consequence of that of course is that cancer needs to become a priority really for health ministries across the world and not just in the richer nations.”
In 2018, there were 6.3 million women alive who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous five years. Breast cancer not only the most common cause of cancer death among women but also the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. It now represents one in four of all cancers in women globally.
Dr. Wild said, “Breast cancer is … a cancer for which one can do something positive by earlier detection and ensuring access to treatment at those early stages … We have to start thinking seriously about combating breast cancer in parts of the world where traditionally this has not been a priority.”
After breast, colorectal and lung cancer, cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer affecting women, particularly in areas with lower levels of development that lack access to effective screening and access to HPV vaccination.
Working closely with drug developing companies, key opinion leaders and patient groups, we at Treehill feel that in addition to improving the ever-sought-for clinical endpoints of progression free survival and overall survival, there is significant room both for the improvement of “soft” quality of life factors as well as their inclusion in study design, development pathways, and commercial market access. We support our clients in developing precise diagnostic tools and impactful medicines in this alarmingly fast growing disease area.