A 50 percent increase in breast cancer by 2030?

A 50 percent increase in breast cancer by 2030?

New research suggests that the number of breast cancer cases could increase 50 percent by 2030.

There were 283,000 breast cancer diagnoses in 2011, and researchers anticipate that will rise to about 441,000 in the next 15 years, according to the National Cancer Institute. The increase is expected to be primarily caused by two factors — the aging population and increased screening that enables doctors to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

Researchers also estimate an increase of between 24 and 35 percent in breast cancer diagnoses of women 70 to 84 years old by 2030. About 3.82 percent of 70-year-old women will develop breast cancer, while the cancer only affects about .44 percent of 30-year-olds.

“As women live longer, their risk for developing breast cancer increases,” says Dr. Rosalinda Alvarado, breast surgeon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Creticos Cancer Center in Chicago.

As screening technology continues to advance, and more women get regular screening mammograms, the researchers also predict that the amount of estrogen-receptor positive (ER-positive) in-situ cancers — or early-stage tumors that have not spread to other parts of the body — will increase from 19 percent of breast cancer diagnoses to about 29 percent.

“Historically, women with ER-positive breast cancer have a very favorable prognosis compared to those who have ER-negative breast cancer or present at more advanced stages of the disease,” Dr. Alvarado says.

ER-negative breast cancers — those in which tumor growth is not promoted by estrogen — are expected to decrease from 17 percent to 9 percent of breast cancer diagnoses. While the exact reason for this decline is unclear, there’s a possible connection to more women choosing to have children later in life and an increased number of women choosing to breastfeed.

“Our results suggest that although breast cancer overall is going to increase, different subtypes of breast cancer are moving in different directions and on different trajectories,” said Philip S. Rosenberg, PhD, senior cancer epidemiology and genetics investigator at the NCI, in a news release. “These distinct patterns within the overall breast cancer picture highlight key research opportunities that could inform smarter screening and kinder, gentler and more effective treatment.”

The findings highlight the importance of screening mammography, with experts recommending annual mammograms for women starting at age 40.

Women with certain risk factors, such as those with a family history of breast cancer, may need earlier or more frequent screening, says Dr. Alvardo.

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  1. Wow, that is a very scary headline. Cancer stinks, and I hope in the future Adocate’s writers can come up with a more positive headline for such a subject. Yes, we want and need to know the hard facts, but the title of this is not only frightening, but very misleading, given the emerging (NOT YET complete/ verified/ reproduced) research that is presented in the piece. Being a citizen of this earth like countless others, I have had my heart broken by cancer. I was jolted to read this headline in my daily inbox. Thanks for the useful information, but please consider the sensitive nature of this subject and others like it so that readers can have a positive and informative experience reading Advocate news.

    • Breast Educator May 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm · Reply

      Emily, this headline is supposed to catch you attention and be scary! There are many sources currently telling the general population that they do not need to undergo yearly screening. (These sources tend to be backed by the insurance companies that do not want to pay for the exams) This leads to a climate of uncertainty in the women’s population as to what they should do. We do however have many studies and years of practice showing that annual mammography does lead to earlier diagnosis and longer lives for hundreds of thousands of women annually.

  2. Mary Smeltzer May 6, 2015 at 8:44 am · Reply

    This really speaks well for all the money that has been raised and research that has been done
    on breast cancer to now know that breast cancer is on the rise. I have never read that the general population should not undergo regular screenings. I don’t know why these scare tactics have to be used. Cancer is scary enough, why add to it?

  3. Emily Backhus May 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm · Reply

    I understand that it is supposed to be scary- and that’s exactly what’s wrong with it! Thank you for your reply Mary. I completely agree that cancer is scary enough without attention-grabbing, scare-tactic headlines that can make patients nauseous just glancing at it. I understand the need to bring attention to this subject, but Mary is right- I have never come across a popular news article adivsing people AGAINST cancer screenings. That would sure be a problem if it were true, but even so, the reseach presented in this article in NO WAY confirms there will be a 50% increase in breast cancer by 2030. This is a hugely broad figure, and the article talks about the different ways statistics can change and how new research changes statistics and outcomes all the time- “Our results suggest that although breast cancer overall is going to increase, different subtypes of breast cancer are moving in different directions and on different trajectories,” said Philip S. Rosenberg, PhD, senior cancer epidemiology and genetics investigator at the NCI, in a news release.” Maybe the title could have reflected this instead- the changing field of knowledge and need for screenings depending on your risk factors. I am a young woman with 2 close female relatives that passed away from breast cancer, so this subject really hits home. I just feel it should be presented in such a way that does not “scare” to grab attention- I literally felt sick reading this headline. After reading the entire article, I realized this headline was completely inappropriate and felt like voicing my opinion. Thanks.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.