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Number Of Breast, Cervical Cancer Cases Rose Significantly Over Past 30 Years, Global Study Says

“The number of cases and deaths from breast and cervical cancer is rising in most countries across the world, especially in poorer nations where more women are dying at younger ages, according to a global study of the diseases” by researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Reuters reports. Between 1980 and 2010, breast cancer cases more than doubled worldwide, rising from 641,000 cases in 1980 to 1.6 million cases in 2010, while deaths from breast cancer rose from 250,000 a year to 425,000 a year, according to the study, which was published in the Lancet on Thursday, Reuters notes. The “number of cervical cancer cases rose from 378,000 cases in 1980 to 454,000 in 2010, and deaths from cervical cancer rose at almost the same pace as cases,” the news service writes (Kelland, 9/15). The majority of new cases occurred among women under age 50 in low-income nations, BBC News writes (Briggs, 9/14).

“Officials estimate that about 343,000 women every year die in childbirth, most in the developing world. In comparison, breast cancer kills 425,000 women a year while cervical cancer kills about 200,000,” the Associated Press/CBS News notes (9/14). “Women in richer countries fared better due in part to screening, medicines, anti-smoking policies and vaccines,” BBC reports (9/14). “The researchers said the findings added urgency to calls from public health experts to world leaders to make cancer screening, treatment and education a priority in poor nations,” according to Reuters (9/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.