According to a recent global study conducted by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, the number of deaths from cervical and breast cancer among young women are rising, most especially in developing countries.
The morbidity of breast cancer cases have doubled at a global pace in a matter of three decades. From 1980, 641,000 cases of breast cancer have escalated to 1.6 million cases last 2010. The exponential growth has even exceeded that of the global population growth. In the same period, cases of death from breast cancer have also grown from 250,000 to 450,000. The slowing rate in death of people with breast cancer is due to the impact of screening and treatment programs being implemented in many countries.
Speaking of cervical cancer, cases have also grown from 378,000 cases to 454,000 from 1978 to 2010. Deaths from the same cancer have also grown by 200,000 which is almost at pace with the increase in cases.
According to Dr. Rafael Lozano, one of the study’s co-author and also the Professor of the Global Health at IHME said that, “Women in high-income countries like the United States and the United Kingdom are benefiting from early cancer screenings, drug therapies, and vaccines.” He also shared that, ”We are seeing the burden of breast and cervical cancer shifting to low-income countries in Africa and Asia. This is one of the early signs of the emerging threat of non-communicable diseases in these countries. Everyone has been talking about that threat. Now the trend is clear.
It can be traced that on the year 1980, 65% of all breast cancer cases are rooted from developed (first world) countries and by the year 2010, the cases of breast cancer in developed cancer has been shaved to less than a half and the situation was inverted with most cases now being recognized in developing countries.
In terms of cervical cancer, the rate has been found to be much higher in developing countries. Generally, 76% of all cases of cervical cancer occur in developing countries. In fact, more than 76,000 cases in 2010 or 22% of all cervical cancer cases in the world is from the Sub-Saharan Region of Africa.
“If more women are developing breast and cervical cancer during their reproductive years, this adds more pressure on families and societies already suffering from high rates of infectious disease and child mortality,” according to Dr. Mohammad Forouzanfar, the paper’s lead author and an IHME Post-Graduate Fellow.
According to Dr. Christopher Murray, the fact that the statistics in different countries vary, means that obesity and diet are only part of the entire picture. The authors of the study are looking into the efforts of legislators and policymakers in strengthening the campaign for breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness. And furthermore put efforts in maintaining an evidence based registries that will identify the cause of these neoplastic conditions.