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Epidemiology of breast cancer in the Czech Republic


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J. Mužík, L. Šnajdrová, J. Gregor

Institute of Biostatistics and Analyses, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic




The Czech National Cancer Registry (CNCR) is the main source of data on cancer epidemiology in the Czech Republic. CNCR has become an integral part of comprehensive cancer care, containing more than 2.3 million records from the period 1977–2015 and covering 100% of the Czech population. Registration of malignant tumours is stipulated by law and is obligatory [1]. CNCR data is publicly available on the website [2].


Incidence and mortality rates

Among all cancers excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (C00-C97 excluding C44), breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Each year, approximately 7,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Czech Republic, and there are approximately 1,900 deaths from breast cancer among Czech women. The incidence trend in the entire monitored period has continuously increased (Fig. 1a). In 2015, there were 7102 new cases of breast cancer in women, corresponding to more than 130 cancers per 100,000 women in the Czech population. The mortality trend was growing at the beginning of the monitored period, but a stagnation and even a slight decrease in mortality rates have been observed since the 1990s (Fig. 1b). In 2015, there were 1829 breast cancer deaths among women in the Czech Republic, corresponding to more than 34 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women in the Czech population.

Apart from absolute numbers of newly diagnosed cases and deaths per year (Fig. 1a), breast cancer incidence and mortality rates can be recalculated per 100,000 women in the population (Fig. 1b) or standardized on a certain age standard; the most common ones include the age-standardized world rate (ASR-W, Fig. 1c) and the age-standardized European rate (ASR-E, Fig. 1d). Such recalculations make it possible to compare breast incidence and mortality rates with those of other countries (see more details in Epidemiology of breast cancer: international comparison).

Breast cancer incidence and mortality rates, women

Fig. 1a: Absolute numbers of new cases / deaths. Data source: CNCR Fig. 1b: Rates per 100,000 women. Data source: CNCR
Fig. 1c: Age-standardized world rates (ASR-W). Data source: CNCR Fig. 1d: Age-standardized European rates (ASR-E). Data source: CNCR


Prevalence rates

Since the 1990s, the epidemiological situation has gradually improved: namely, mortality rates have stabilized and even slightly decreased (see above). Continuously growing incidence rates, however, have inevitably led to an increase in prevalence rates, i.e. the number of breast cancer survivors. In 2015, the prevalence of women with a history of breast cancer reached 86,315, corresponding to a 59% increase in comparison with 2005 (54,391 breast cancer survivors) (Fig. 2a).

Prevalence can be also expressed as a rate per 100,000 women in the population (Fig. 2b), allowing the comparison with other countries (see Fig. 4 in Epidemiology of breast cancer: international comparison).

Breast cancer prevalence rates, women

Fig. 2a: Absolute numbers of breast cancer survivors, women. Data source: CNCR. Fig. 2b: Breast cancer prevalence rates per 100,000 women. Data source: CNCR.


Clinical stages

It is widely known that a cancer diagnosed at an early stage (or even at the stage of precancerous changes) is much more likely to be treated successfully and that the chance of survival in such cases is much higher. Available population-based data on breast cancer epidemiology in the Czech Republic show a steadily growing increase in the proportion of early stages among newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer (Fig 3a). This is a very positive trend, as the 5-year survival of breast cancer patients who were diagnosed at stage I (or even with an in situ carcinoma) is almost 100%. Fig. 3b shows trends in breast cancer incidence rates when taking into account the stage at which the disease is diagnosed.

Clinical stages of breast cancer, women

Fig. 3a: Proportion of clinical stages, women. Data source: CNCR. Fig. 3b: Incidence rates for C50 according to clinical stages, women. Data source: CNCR.


Age structure of patients

Breast cancer markedly affects women in working age. The typical age of Czech breast cancer patients is between 60 and 69 years, but almost 36% of all patients are under the age of 60 (Fig. 4a). Fig. 4b shows the profile of age-specific incidence rates for breast cancer.

Age structure of female breast cancer patients

Fig. 4a: Proportion of cases in a given age category, women (analyzed period: 2011–2015). Data source: CNCR. Fig. 4b: Age-specific incidence rate, women (analyzed period: 2011–2015). Data source: CNCR.



  1. Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic: Czech National Cancer Registry (CNCR) [16 Apr 2018]. Available from WWW:
  2. 2. Dušek, L., Mužík, J., Kubásek, M., Koptíková, J., Žaloudík, J., Vyzula, R.: Epidemiology of malignant tumours in the Czech Republic [online]. Masaryk University, Brno (Czech Republic) 2005. Available from WWW: ISSN 1802-8861.

Last updated on 16 April 2018