According to the American Cancer Society, the risk of a woman being exposed to breast cancer is 12 percent. However, it is also an important point to note that this risk keeps increasing every year by a fraction of 0.4 percent. This has made it among the top conditions causing deaths in women.
A new report in this reference has indicated that the mortality rates associated with breast cancer almost dropped to half as compared to its situation 30 years ago.
This report is present in the journal named Cancer and it argues that this decrease in the risk is primarily due to increased use of cancer screening i.e. mammography. It is also partially due to an improvement in the therapy.
Death Toll Decreased by 27000
The research team viewed the mortality rates of breast cancer by taking data from women in the U.S. between the ages of 40 to 84 years, from the year 1989 to 2018.
The researchers first gathered this information through the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program initiated by the National Cancer Institute. Since the year 1990, the experts have noticed a decrease in the breast cancer-related rates between 1.8 to 3.4 percent every year.
More specifically, the researchers found that in 2012, the death toll decreased by 20,860 to 33,842 deaths. This was probably due to an increased trend of going for mammograms and betterment in cancer treatment.
In the year 2015, the deaths decreased by 23,703 to 39,415 and in the year 2018, this further reduced by 27,083 to 45,726 deaths.
As far as the mortality rates are concerned, there was up to 50.5 percent decrease in 2012, up to 54.2 percent in2015, and up to 58.3 percent decrease in the cancer-related deaths in the year 2018.
Overall speaking, from the year 1989, the increased trend of cancer screening together with betterment in cancer treatment protocol led to a decrease in death toll by 384,046 to 614,484.
Screening Starts at Age 40
The most recent reviews of mammography screening have mostly focused on the risks associated with it such as call-backs, the additional need for biopsies and imaging, etc. However, this has greatly downplayed the most important aspect of this test i.e. its potential to save lives.
This study has proved that the combination of early detection together with a better treatment protocol can be extremely beneficial in the aversion of deaths related to this disease.
It is important to note that at present, only half of the women of 40 years or above go for breast cancer screening in hospitals. The findings from this study will help motivate the rest of the females to get up and get this test.
The lead authors of the study have a strong belief that in the future, advances in the screening and treatment methods for breast cancer will cause a further decrease in the mortality rates.
However, they also emphasize the importance of compliance of the women with the existing screening tests and treatment recommendations.