Breast Cancer Deaths At Record Low

The number of women dying from breast cancer has fallen to its lowest level since records began, new figures have shown.

The data released by Cancer Research UK show that in 2007, 11,990 women in Britain died from breast cancer. In 1941 - the first year statistics were collected - 12,472 women died from the disease.

From 1971 onwards, the number of women dying from the disease rose steadily year-on-year, reaching a peak of 15,625 in 1989.

Experts have said better care and screening along with advances in diagnosis are behind the fall in the number of deaths.

Meanwhile, improved chemotherapy, radiotherapy and the emergence of hormone treatments like Tamoxifen and Anastrozole help breast cancer come back.

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's Chief Clinician, said: "It's incredibly encouraging to see fewer women dying from breast cancer now than at any time in the last 40 years, despite breast cancer being diagnosed more often.

"Research has played a crucial role in this progress leading to improved treatments and better management for women with the disease."

He added: "The introduction of the NHS breast screening programme has also contributed as women are more likely to survive the earlier cancer is diagnosed.

"We hope these new figures will encourage women over the age of 47 to attend screening and to know that even if a tumour is found, their chances of beating it are better than ever."

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK with 45,500 women diagnosed with the disease every year - a 50% increase in a quarter of a century.

It is the second most common cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

30 September 2003
'Next big step' in breast cancer treatment launched
Cancer Research UK scientists will today embark on the next big step towards preventing breast cancer with the launch of a major new trial called IBIS II. The 10-year study will test a new drug called anastrozole and involve 10,000 healthy women who are at an increased risk of the disease.
10 October 2005
Breast cancer survival rates rise
Almost two-thirds of all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer are now likely to survive for at least 20 years, a leading cancer charity has claimed.
12 August 2010
UK's Breast Cancer Deaths Fall
Population-based breast cancer mortality rates in the UK have dropped steeply in the last two decades - more than in any other major European country - according to a study published on bmj.com. These results challenge claims that survival after breast cancer is worse in the UK than elsewhere in western Europe.
29 October 2003
Saturated fats could 'slightly increase' breast cancer risk
Eating large amounts of saturated fat could "slightly increase" the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published in the British Journal of Cancer.
27 June 2014
Blood Test Could Predict Breast Cancer - Research
A blood test is currently in development that could help predict the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer, according to research by the University College London (UCL).