Monday, October 22, 2007

Breast cancer is Welsh women’s biggest fear

BREAST cancer is the “biggest fear for women in Wales”, according to a survey published today.
The Ipso Mori survey, carried out for Breast Cancer Campaign, found that more than two in five women in Wales (43%) of all ages
are most afraid of getting breast cancer, followed by Alzheimer’s disease/dementia (31%).
More than eight in 10 women interviewed for the survey in Wales said they recognised progress into research and treatment had been made over the past 10 years.
The campaign currently funds six breast cancer research projects in Wales, worth almost £400,000.
Most of those polled (88%) also knew that survival rates have improved compared with those for breast cancer 10 years ago.
More than half those questioned correctly identified earlier diagnosis, better surgical techniques (45%), improved methods of diagnosis (31%) and breast cancer screening (23%) as contributing to better survival rates.
In addition, continued advances in surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, as well as hormone and targeted treatments, have led to breast cancer mortality rates falling by 20% since 1989, a campaign spokeswoman said.
Pamela Goldberg, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign said, “Despite acknowledging that the outlook for breast cancer patients is far brighter than ever before, the fear of breast cancer is still significant among women in Wales.
“Longer survival also means patients are just as concerned about quality as well as quantity of life and the psychosocial aspects of breast cancer are becoming ever more important.
“Indeed, the 21st century woman with breast cancer is justified in feeling more positive about the future with the introduction of drugs such as herceptin and the aromatase inhibitors which are bringing real benefits for people with breast cancer.
“Genetic testing for those with a family history of breast cancer is also giving high risk women a choice about their future.
“More than 80% of people diagnosed with breast cancer today will survive for more than five years. This is the result of years of breast cancer research.
“However, there is still a long way to go.”
Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and accounts for nearly one in three of all cancers in women. Wales has the second highest cancer rates in the UK.

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