Number of UK women who will get breast cancer has risen to one in eight

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 04 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d808
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The lifetime risk of a woman in the United Kingdom developing breast cancer has risen from one in nine to one in eight, Cancer Research UK says.

The charity calculated the figures from data obtained from the Office for National Statistics and UK cancer registries. It found that the number of diagnoses of breast cancer rose from 42 400 in 1999 to 47 700 in 2008, a 3.5% rise.

The biggest rise was seen in women aged between 50 and 69 years, whose incidence rose by more than 6% in the same 10 years. Among women aged 25 to 49 the incidence fell slightly, by 0.5%.

The charity offers a number of possible explanations for the overall rise. One is that more women are now attending breast screening clinics. In 2004 the national breast screening …

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