Cancer: a Clear Threat to Women Around the World

Breast and cervical cancer deaths rising globally

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The number of breast cancer cases has been declining in the United States for a number of years now. Unfortunately, just the opposite is happening around the world.

The incidences of and deaths from breast and cervical cancer are rising in most countries, particularly in developing countries. Not only are more women dying, but they are dying at younger ages of these diseases. These findings are the result of a global analysis recently conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

"Get screened for both breast and cervical cancer."

In just 30 years, the number of breast cancer cases has doubled around the world, going from 641,000 in 1980 to 1.6 million in 2010. Similarly, deaths have also increased during the same period, from 250,000 to 425,000 in 2010.

Cervical cancer trends are not quite so alarming. The number of cases of this disease has grown from 378,000 cases in 1980 to 454,000 in 2010. Deaths from the disease grew at roughly the same pace, reaching 200,000 over the same period.

Co-author, Dr. Rafael Lozano, professor of global health at IHME, says these findings show that the burden of these cancers is shifting to developing countries and that they now constitute a clear noncommunicable disease threat.

This study was funded by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The organization has recently formed a global partnership with the U.S. State Department, the George W. Bush Institute, and UNAIDS to support breast and cervical cancer screening in both Africa and Latin America.

The study - "Breast and cervical cancer trends for 187 countries, 1980-2010: a systematic analysis" - is published in The Lancet.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
September 16, 2011
Last Updated:
September 18, 2011