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UK Breast Cancer Deaths Expected To Rise

With breast cancer deaths having steadily declined in the UK for a number of years, predictions by Breast Cancer Now that the death rate could start climbing again as soon as 2022 may come as a shock.

According to the organisation, there are a number of factors that are influencing this, including the inequality of breast cancer treatment and care across the UK, an ageing population and lifestyle factors such as rising levels of obesity.

The charity is calling on the government to do more to address the inequalities in breast cancer treatment across the UK.

Its research suggests that 1,100 additional deaths from the disease could be prevented each year if every CCG in the UK was brought into line with the current best-performing regions.

Improving screening rates would also help improve the outcome for patients, the organisation stressed, noting that screening uptake in 2016/17 was at its lowest rate in a decade – 71.1 per cent.

Bringing that up to 80 per cent of eligible women could help prevent 1,260 breast cancer deaths a year, and would mean an additional 230,323 women were seen for screening.

Cutting down on errors – such as the once recently identified in Scotland that saw 4,000 women miss out on an invitation for their routine screening – will also be important.

Chief executive at Breast Cancer Now Baroness Delyth Morgan said that it isn’t too late to turn the tide and prevent death rates from the disease from rising in the UK.

“We have a once in a generation opportunity to invest to stop thousands more women dying from breast cancer and we urge the government to act now,” she asserted.

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