A Global Look at Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality, using 2008 Statistics

Breast Cancer Incidence2_0 Global Breast Cancer

What do you think may be some of the factors that increase breast cancer incidence in the countries in the left column, and decrease breast cancer incidence in the countries in the right-hand column?

Answers:

Increased breast cancer risk in left hand column:

white-skinned, industrialization, lack of vitamin D, lack of exercise (more cars), obesity, light at night, increased animal protein, lower fiber, fewer fruits and vegetables, more sugar and junk food, increased cheese, increased alcohol, late child-bearing, fewer children, less breast-feeding, greater use of the birth control pill and hormone replacement therapy, more plastic, more root canals, higher genetic factors (BRCA1, BRCA2) …

Decreased breast cancer risk in right hand column:

increased vit D from sunlight, earlier childbirth, more children, longer breast-feeding, more beans, less meat, less dairy, more fiber, more fruits and vegetables, increased exercise, less light at night, more soy (China, Japan), more seaweed (Japan), more turmeric (India), thinner, intermittent fasting (less food)

Breast Cancer Globally

  • The highest incidence rates occur in northern and western Europe, northern America, Australia and New Zealand, and in southern countries of South America, such as Uruguay and Argentina
  • Rates are elevated in northern and Western Europe; and are low to intermediate in most southern and eastern European countries.
  • Incidence is low throughout Africa, Asia and most of Central and South America The lowest rates are seen in Mongolia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Botswana, several Chinese populations, and areas in Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Mexico and India.[i]
  • the highest genetic link to breast cancer is found in the Bahamas, where 23% of women diagnosed have the BRCA1 gene. Ashkenazi Jews also have high genetic susceptibility
  • One in ten of all new cancers diagnosed each year is female breast cancer
  • It is the most common cancer in women in both developing and developed countries
  • It is the principal cause of death from cancer among women globally[ii] with 1.38 million new cancers diagnosed in 2008 (23% of all cancers)
  • Over one million cases of breast cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year, and approximately 375,000 women die from it annually[iii]
  • Male breast cancer makes up 1% of all cases
  • Breast cancer makes up about 30% of all cancers in North America and about 20% of all cancer-related deaths.
  • In the United States and Canada respectively, more than 200,000 and 20,000 new breast cancer cases are diagnosed annually
  • Beginning in the 1980s and continuing until very recently, the incidence of breast cancer was rising at a rate of approximately 2% per year [iv]

[i] http://globocan.iarc.fr/factsheets/cancers/breast.asp#INCIDENCE

[ii] Freddie Bray, Peter McCarron, and D Maxwell Parkin. Breast Cancer Res. 2004; 6(6): 229–239. Published online 2004 August 26. doi: 10.1186/bcr932. 2Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

[iii] Freddie Bray, Peter McCarron, and D Maxwell Parkin. Breast Cancer Res. 2004; 6(6): 229–239. Published online 2004 August 26. doi: 10.1186/bcr932. 2Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

[iv] National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Panel. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference statement: adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, November 1–3, 2000. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2001;(30):5–15.

[v] Ravdin, PM; Cronin, KA; Howlader, N, et al. The decrease in breast-cancer incidence in 2003 in the United States. N Engl J Med. 2007;356:1670–4