GENEVA – Breast cancer is now the most common form of the disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday (2).
“For the first time, breast cancer is the most globally occurring form of cancer,” said Andre Ilbawi, a cancer specialist at the WHO.
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In the past two decades, lung cancer has been the most common in the world, but it is now second on the list, behind breast cancer and ahead of colorectal cancer.
Ilbawi noted that obesity in women is a common risk factor for breast cancer, and is among the factors that led to the increase in cases of the disease.
With the growth of the global population and the increase in life expectancy, cancer is expected to become more common, and is expected to reach 30 million new cases per year in 2040. In 2020, the number of cases recorded in the world was 19, 3 millions.
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The Covid-19 pandemic is disrupting cancer treatments in half of the countries surveyed by WHO. According to Ilbawi, delays in diagnoses, the extreme stress to which health professionals are subjected and the impact on health research are responsible.
In Brazil, breast cancer is the second most common in women. According to an estimate by the Cancer Foundation, based on data from the Unified Health System (SUS), in 2020 there was an 84% reduction in the number of mammograms performed in the country compared to 2019.
When discovered in its early stages, breast cancer has a 90% chance of cure. Mammography is one of the most effective ways to detect the disease in the initial phase, and it must be done annually from the age of 40. In Brazil, a law of 2008, updated in 2019, guarantees that the exam in the SUS is carried out for women over 40 years of age.