Global impact of breast cancer.

GE Healthcare has commissioned new, independent, research into the global impact of breast cancer.   Key findings include:

• As breast cancer survival rates improve in the developed world, quality of life is becoming a growing issue.  As a result, the report urges doctors to focus on measuring the impact of diagnosis and treatment on survivor’s quality of life, to identify what problems patients may have and how these can be mitigated

•  15 million years of ‘healthy life’ were lost worldwide in 2008, due to women dying early or being ill with the disease

• There is a direct link between survival rates in countries and the stage at which breast cancer is diagnosed, providing further evidence of the need for early detection and treatment

• Rising breast cancer incidence and mortality represent a significant and growing threat for the developing world

• Consumer awareness and cultural barriers surrounding screening are putting lives at risk.