It is common for statisticians to try and compare developed countries with their developing counterparts, primarily seeking to prove that the differences between wealthier and poorer nations are not nearly as stark as might be presumed. Such comparisons usually elicit surprise when it comes to the area of disease. Wealthy and poor nations rarely contend with the same crises when it comes to health and disease; however, breast cancer seems to be one of those few illnesses that don’t seem to discriminate, seeing as breast cancer is still the most common cancer afflicting women in both developed and developing nations. A quarter of all female cancer patients across the world are afflicted by breast cancer, which is why the ailment is of particular interest to the World Health Organization.
Why the Comparisons?
The comparisons regarding the rate of breast cancer afflictions and deaths in the world are more than a mere mathematical hobby. According to Cecile Pizot (International Prevention Research Institute, France), the purpose of making these comparisons, specifically looking at the number of women dying from breast cancer across the numerous countries of the world, is to identify strengths in successful healthcare systems that can be mimicked, as well as weaknesses that require immediate attention.
There is an undeniable need to improve the approach to screening, diagnosing and treating breast cancer amongst women all over the world.
The Silver Lining
While breast cancer is still the most common form of cancer afflicting women in the world, there is some good news: it looks like the number of women dying from breast cancer has fallen dramatically.
In other words, people do not die at the same worrying rates they used to, and new early detection schemes and technologies might hold the key to this positive trend. The United Nations has spent last two decades emphasizing the importance of early detection when it comes to fighting breast cancer.
In a study pursued by Cecile Pizot and her team, data between the years of 1987 and 2013 was scrutinized. And while the results still require additional analysis, the fact that the rate of breast cancer-related deaths has fallen cannot be denied.
England and Wales have made especially astounding gains because of advancements in early detection systems in those countries. Unfortunately, areas of Latin America – especially Brazil and Columbia – have seen deaths related to breast cancer increased.
This highlights a disparity when it comes to access to early detection systems and treatment options. South Korea has proven to be particular worrying. The country has seen an 83 percent rise in breast cancer-related deaths over the last few decades.
So, while drastic improvements are emerging and changing the breast cancer fight across the world, additional effort is required to bring every country up to the same standard.