UK breast cancer mortality rate drops by 10.4%

The number of women surviving breast cancer in the UK has increased by 10.4 per cent over the past few years, according to new figures.

Data released by Cancer Research UK to coincide with World Cancer Day on Sunday February 4th shows that in 2010, 39 women in every 100,000 in Britain died from breast cancer. However, this had fallen to 35 in every 100,000 by 2015, demonstrating progress in treatment options and overall prognosis.

In particular, a better understanding of the genetic risk behind breast cancer and increased use of drugs such as tamoxifen are being attributed to the drop in the disease's mortality rate in recent years.

What's more, it is not just breast cancer mortality rates that have dropped in recent years, as survival rates for each of the other 'big four' cancers (breast, lung, bowel and prostate) also increased by more than five per cent between 2010 and 2015.

During this period, the mortality rate for prostate cancer dropped by 6.1 per cent, for lung cancer it fell by 6.7 per cent and for bowel cancer, a drop of eight per cent was recorded.

Yet at the same time, cancers including pancreatic, brain and oesophagus remain much harder to treat and there has been no significant progress in their survival rates over the past few years. Indeed, statistics show that just one per cent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are still alive ten years later.

Despite this, overall mortality rates for cancer throughout the country fell by 4.9 per cent from 2010 to 2015.

Sir Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, commented: "It's fantastic to see research saving lives right now, with the rate of women dying from breast cancer dropping year on year.

"But while the rate of people dying from cancer overall is decreasing, the overall number of people developing and dying from cancer in the UK and worldwide is expected to rise. This is because the population is growing and more of us are living longer."ADNFCR-2094-ID-801844427-ADNFCR