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Lifetime breast cancer risk increases, new research claims

4th February 2011

One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, new research from Cancer Research UK has shown.

The charity's report also revealed that the breast cancer rate in the UK has risen by 3.5 per cent over the past decade. Around 47,700 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2008, increasing from the 42,400 cases recorded in 1999.

In addition, the study noted that the biggest rise in breast cancer has been seen in women aged 50 to 69, increasing by more than six per cent over the last ten years. In those aged between 25 and 49, the rate fell by 0.5 per cent.

However, the research did contain some good news and pointed out that three-quarters of breast cancer patients live for at least a further ten years, while almost two-thirds survive for at least 20 years.

Sara Hiom, director of health information at Cancer Research UK, added: 'We know that the earlier a cancer is detected the more successful treatment is likely to be, so women can benefit by taking up invitations to breast screening.'

Last month, the government launched its new Improving Outcomes - A Strategy for Cancer programme, which hopes to save an additional 5,000 lives a year through earlier diagnosis and greater access to treatment.
 

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