- Hyde Palk Walk
- The number of women under 50 diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK has exceeded 10,000 for the first time
- A study suggests women with breast implants may be diagnosed at a later stage than women without
Hyde Palk Walk
The Hyde Park Walk is now only a month away (on 9th June 2013) and we are getting excited! Hundreds of walkers and runners will be helping us to celebrate our 25th Anniversary and to show support for women with breast cancer – we’d love you come along and join in as well. The walk is a beautiful 10k route through Hyde Park. To enter, all you need to do is fill out an entry form, which can be found on our website.
If you have any questions or need extra entry or sponsorship forms, please contact Holly on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 830 2323.
The number of women under 50 diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK has exceeded 10,000 for the first time
New statistics from Cancer Research UK has shown that 10,068 women under the age of 50 were diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK in 2010. This was the first time the figure had exceeded 10,000 and represents an 11 per cent increase since 1995, when the number of diagnosed in the same age group was 7,712.
This rise in younger patients developing breast cancer contributed to an overall increase in diagnosis rates among women of all ages. The total number of women diagnosed each year is now approaching 50,000.
The reasons for the increasing rates of breast cancer in this group are not clear, but it’s thought that increasing alcohol intake and hormonal factors such as having fewer children, having them later in life and increased use of the contraceptive pill may be playing a role.
However, the statistics also show that fewer women under 50 than ever before are dying from the disease. In the early 1990s, the mortality rate from breast cancer in women under the age of 50 was nine per 100,000 women in the UK. By late 2000, this had fallen to 5 in every 100,000. More than eight in 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50 now survive their disease for at least five years. This is thought to be due to better treatment.
Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of health information, said: “Breast cancer is more common in older women but these figures show that younger women are also at risk of developing the disease. Women of all ages who notice anything different about their breasts, including changes in size, shape or feel, a lump or thickening, nipple discharge or rash, dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin, should see their GP straight away, even if they have attended breast cancer screening. It’s more likely not to be cancer but if it is, detecting it early gives the best chance of successful treatment.
“The number of cases in women under 50 diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing slowly, but thanks to research, awareness and improved care more women than ever before are surviving the disease”.
Tara Beaumont, Clinical Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care said: “The increasing incidence of breast cancer in women under 50 reflects the growing incidence overall.
“Though it is not fully understood why the rates of breast cancer in this age group are rising, it is extremely encouraging to see a continuation of the downward trend in breast cancer mortality.”
Study suggests women with breast implants may be diagnosed at a later stage than women without
A study which suggested that women with cosmetic breast implants who develop breast cancer may have a greater chance of dying from the disease was widely reported last week. As the NHS response shows, it is important to stress that the research the media has reported does not suggest that breast implants cause breast cancer.
The research, published in British Medical Review, focused instead on whether breast implants cause a delay in diagnosis in women who have breast cancer, which may increase their risk of dying from the disease. To test this, the researchers analysed the results of a number of small studies, which considered whether having cosmetic breast implants was associated with a delay in diagnosis.
They found that women with implants had a 26 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed at a later stage of breast cancer than women without. When they considered another five studies that dealt with outcomes, they found that women with implants had a 38 per cent higher risk of death from breast cancer than those without.
They suggest these results may be due to the implant material obscuring breast tissue examined by mammography. Even though there are screening techniques to compensate, both silicone and saline-filled implants create radio-opaque shadows, which mean some of the breast tissue is not visible on the film. This could mean breast cancers are detected later, which often leads to worse outcomes.
However, as the researchers themselves point out, the results of this analysis should be viewed with caution as the review had several limitations. First, only a few studies were available. Another concern is that the quality of some of the evidence was impaired by poor study methodology. For example, the section on outcomes was based on only five studies. Of these, three did not adjust their results for the woman’s age at diagnosis and all five remained unadjusted for the women’s BMI – both important potential confounding factor that means the results should viewed cautiously.
As Dr Caitlin Palframan, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “Although it shows reduced breast cancer survival rates among women who had breast implants at the time of diagnosis, the findings are not conclusive and more research is definitely needed before we can fully understand the effect of breast implants on survival.
“We know there is some concern about whether breast implants make breast cancer more difficult to detect by mammogram, which could delay diagnosis, so we encourage women attending mammograms to inform their screening service that they have breast implants to ensure that all breast tissue is completely examined.
“Early detection offers the best chance of successful treatment, so we urge every woman with or without implants to be breast aware by regularly checking their breasts for any changes.”
Julia Frater, senior cancer information nurse at Cancer Research UK, also commented on the need for further research, saying: “This research suggests that breast implants may make cancer harder to detect, leading to later diagnosis. But it needs confirming in larger studies.”