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Breast cancer: Introduction

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You might want to read our article Epidemiology of breast cancer in the Czech Republic, which covers the issue in more detail.

Breast cancer currently presents a serious epidemiological issue in the Czech Republic:

  • More than 6,500 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the Czech Republic each year, corresponding to more than 130 cancers per 100,000 women in the Czech population (Figure 1, incidence curve).
  • Each year, there are almost 2,000 breast cancer deaths among women in the Czech Republic, corresponding to more than 36 breast cancer deaths per 100,000 women in the Czech population (Figure 1, mortality curve).
  • Breast cancer is the most common cause of death among Czech women aged between 20 to 54 (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Breast cancer incidence and mortality in the Czech Republic.

The graph shows basic epidemiological data about breast cancer in the Czech Republic in the period between 1977 and 2014.

Figure 2: Most common causes of death among Czech women aged between 20 to 54 in the year 2015.

The graph shows the proportion of individual causes of death on the overall mortality among Czech women aged 20 to 54. It is obvious that breast cancer accounts for the largest proportion of deaths in this age category, killing 1 in 13 women from all deceased women in this group.

Possibilities of breast cancer prevention on the level of individual women are rather limited. Since a risk factor explaining the development of breast cancer with a sufficient reliability has not been revealed yet (contrary to lung cancer, for example), timely diagnosis and early treatment is the only option for fighting the disease.

Possibilities of decreasing breast cancer mortality rates are demanding both from the organisational and financial point of view, but nevertheless have been repeatedly proved to be very cost-effective. Starting from September 2002, the Czech Republic joined the majority of European countries when it launched a nationwide breast cancer screening programme, enabling women aged 45-69 to undergo regular preventive examination, and paving the way for an increase in the proportion of early stages of breast cancer detected among the population of Czech women. The upper age limit was later cancelled: breast cancer screening is now free of charge (i.e. it is reimbursed from the public health insurance) for all Czech women aged 45 years and above.

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Last updated on 20 March 2017