The global incidence of breast cancer is increasing

  • Li N & al.
  • J Hematol Oncol
  • 21 Dec 2019

  • curated by Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • The worldwide incidence of breast cancer has increased over the past 2 decades (1990-2017), especially in lower-income countries.
  • The death rate over the same period has decreased, especially in higher-income countries such as those in Western Europe but not in middle- to low-income countries.

Why this matters

  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in females and the most burdensome in terms of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

Study design

  • Analysis of breast cancer data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study in 195 countries and territories.
  • GBD is a collaboration using all available epidemiological data.
  • All data were stratified by 5 social-development index (SDI) quintiles (high, high-medium, medium, low-medium, and low levels).
  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Key results

  • The worldwide incidence of breast cancer in 2017 rose to 1,960,681, with age-standardized incidence (number of cases×103 growing from 878.7 in 1990 to 1960.7 in 2017).
    • Incidence was highest in the top SDI quintiles; but increases were greatest in the lower quintiles.
  • The worldwide death rate decreased by 11.66%.
    • All higher SDI quintiles saw a decline, but increases occurred in middle SDI (10.59%), middle-low SDI (24.10%), and low SDI (26.93%) countries.
  • Alcohol was the biggest contributor to DALYs (9.43%), followed by BMI (4.61%).

Limitations

  • Heterogeneity across data sources.