Breast cancer mortality higher

27/10/2009 15:00

More women died from breast cancer in 2008 than in 2007. Breast cancer is indeed the most common cause of death among 35 to 55-year-old women. The Netherlands is among the countries with the highest breast cancer mortality rate in Europe.

Most substantial increase found in 60 to 70-year-old female population

Altogether, 3,327 women in the Netherlands died of breast cancer last year, an increase by 5 percent relative to 2007. The most substantial increase was found among 60 to 70-year-old women. Compared to 2007, the breast cancer mortality rate in this age category increased by 12 percent. Breast cancer accounts for nearly 5 percent of total female mortality in 2008.

Breast cancer mortality among women by age

Breast cancer mortality among women by age

Breast cancer number one cause of death for 35 to 50-year-old women

Breast cancer is the most common cause of death for women aged between 35 and 50. One in six women in this age group died from breast cancer in 2008.

Among 50 to 75-year-old women, lung cancer is the number one cause of death, followed by breast cancer. Above the age of 75, most women die from cardiovascular diseases. Breast cancer rarely occurs among women under the age of 30. Last year, 30 men died from breast cancer.

Dutch breast cancer mortality rate one of the highest in Europe

The (standardised) breast cancer mortality rate in the Netherlands is among the highest in Europe. The rate is only higher in Iceland, Ireland and Denmark. Proportionally, Spain had the lowest rate.

Breast cancer mortality in a number of European countries, 2007

Breast cancer mortality in a number of European countries, 2007

Various factors play a part in the differences observed between the countries in Europe, for example, with respect to diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, but also in the development of breast cancer. A number of risk factors are important in the Netherlands in comparison to other European countries. Dutch women have their first child later in life and fewer Dutch women breastfeed their child(ren) compared to the rest of Europe.

Jan Hoogenboezem and Kim de Bruin