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The number of UK women diagnosed with breast cancer every year is still rising, latest figures show. While more UK women now survive breast cancer than before, new statistics confirm that, year on year, more cases are being diagnosed.
Between 2008 and 2009, the number of women diagnosed with the disease climbed by 724, to more than 48,000 a year, says Cancer Research UK.
And the odds that a woman will get breast cancer at some point in her life fell from one in nine in 1999 to one in eight in 2008. Eluned Hughes, Breakthrough Public Health and Information Manager, says:“This is a trend we have been seeing for a few decades. Breast cancer incidence has been creeping up since 1975 and the ageing population is fuelling the rise in breast cancer cases."
Professor Anthony Swerdlow at the Institute of Cancer Research said: “For most women, simply getting older is their biggest risk of breast cancer and with more people living longer more will develop the disease. Whatever the reason, more cases diagnosed means more cases to be treated.
“Affording the costs of treatment obviously depends on how the health service wish to allocate funds between different activities and more widely how society allocates funds between health and other activities, but clearly prevention could reduce these costs.”
Breakthrough’s chief executive Chris Askew said: “The increase concerns us hugely. Seven hundred women – daughters, mums, wives, girlfriends, sisters, grandmas – as well as all those already diagnosed, show we desperately need to do more towards a future free from the fear of breast cancer.
“While it’s fantastic news that more women than ever survive breast cancer, the rising number being diagnosed underlines how critical Breakthrough’s work is and makes our efforts towards better treatments, prevention and diagnosis all the more urgent.”