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You are here:
More women are being diagnosed with breast cancer than ever
before, but death rates continue to fall, according to a report
released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW) and National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC).
The report, Breast cancer in Australia: an overview, 2009, was
launched at NBOCC's Pink Ribbon Breakfast in Sydney to mark
Australia's Breast Cancer Day.
In 2006, over 12,600 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, the
largest number of new cases recorded in any year to date.
'To put that into context, on an average day in 2006, 35
Australian women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer,' said
Dr Adriana Vanden Heuvel of the AIHW's Cancer and Screening
'It is anticipated that the number of new cases in Australia
will continue to rise so that by 2015, an average of 42 women every
day will be told they have breast cancer-over 15,000 women in total
for the year,' said Dr Helen Zorbas, CEO of NBOCC.
According to the report, 1 in 9 Australian women will develop
breast cancer and 1 in 38 women will die from the disease before
the age of 85.
'Although the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has
more than doubled in the past 25 years, largely due to a growing
and ageing population, improved survival rates give increasing hope
to women diagnosed today,' Dr Zorbas said.
'Between 1994 and 2006 the death rate from breast cancer fell by
27%. This is the lowest recorded rate in the 25 years covered in
the report,' Dr Vanden Heuvel said.
In addition to declining death rates, the percentage of women
living for at least 5 years after diagnosis is continuing to
Most (88%) women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000 and
2006 will likely live for at least five years after diagnosis. This
compares with 73% of those diagnosed between 1982 and 1987.
Despite these gains, the report shows some disparities in
outcomes, with survival rates varying by age, geographical
location, Indigenous status and socioeconomic status.
'For example, 90% of women with breast cancer living in areas
with the highest socioeconomic status will be alive five years
after their diagnosis, compared with 86%of women living in areas
with the lowest socioeconomic status,' Dr Zorbas said.
The available information also suggests that although Indigenous
women were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with breast
cancer than non-Indigenous women, among those Indigenous women
diagnosed, survival was poorer than for non-Indigenous women.
Monday 26 October 2009
Further information: Dr Adriana Vanden Heuvel,
AIHW, tel. 02 6244 1184 or 0418 271 395.
To interview Dr Helen Zorbas, NBOCC, contact Bree Stevens on 0438
209 833 or Lexia Johnson on 02 9357
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
Breast cancer in Australia an Overview, 2009