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More women dying from breast and cervical cancer at a younger age in developing countries
Women in high-income countries benefit from medical advances, while an increasing number of women are at risk of dying in poor countries.
“Women in high-income countries like the United States and the United Kingdom are benefiting from early cancer screenings, drug therapies, and vaccines,” said Dr. Rafael Lozano, Professor of Global Health at IHME and one of the paper’s co-authors. “We are seeing the burden of breast and cervical cancer shifting to low-income countries in Africa and Asia. This is one of the early signs of the emerging threat of noncommunicable diseases in these countries. Everyone has been talking about that threat. Now the trend is clear.”
Coinciding with the study release, IHME is publishing a report, The Challenge Ahead: Progress and Setbacks in Breast and Cervical Cancer, which provides global, regional, and country data for cases, deaths, and risks over the past three decades. The work was funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Data and Methods
Figure 1. Change in the lifetime risk of death from breast cancer, 1980 and 2010 (1MB PDF)
Figure 2. Breast cancer cases in developed and developing countries by age, 1980 and 2010 (73KB PDF)
Table 1. Breast cancer cases and deaths in developing and developed countries, 1980 and 2010 (73KB PDF)
Table 2. Cervical cancer cases and deaths in developing and developed countries, 1980 and 2010 (73KB PDF)
Data for download. Breast and cervical cancer incidence and mortalty by age and country, 1980 and 2010 (95KB xls)
To download further datasets, including the underlying data for this research, visit our Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx). After providing some basic registration information, you will have access to additional datasets and detailed information about the data used in this research. The GHDx includes data records with information on more than 200 countries.
Related Visualizations & other Tools
Related Publications & Presentations
Forouzanfar MH, Foreman KJ, Delossantos AM, Lozano R, Lopez AD, Murray CJL, Naghavi M. Breast and cervical cancer in 187 countries between 1980 and 2010: a systematic analysis. The Lancet. 2011; DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61351-2.
Related News & Events
In September 2011, IHME published in The Lancet global estimates for breast and cervical cancer: Breast and cervical cancer in 187 countries between 1980 and 2010: a systematic analysis. The new estimates differed from estimates available from the International Agency for Research on Cancer through the GLOBOCAN website.
- We based our estimates on additional data sources, especially for cancer deaths. For example, in some countries that lack vital registration data, we were able to use data from verbal autopsy studies, which gather information from relatives about how a family member died. Even in countries where rich data sources are available, IARC used modeled mortality estimates from the World Health Organization. For cervical cancer deaths in India, for example, the IARC approach yields a much higher number of deaths than the IHME approach.
- In both vital registration systems and cancer registries, many cancer deaths are inaccurately coded or ill-defined by the agencies collecting the data. Using methodological tools designed at IHME, we fixed the coding and assigned the deaths to the appropriate categories.
- To generate the mortality-to-incidence (MI) ratio, a key measure for the number of women with cancer who die annually, we improved on previous methods by factoring in age, country, and year. We have found that our estimates are in sync with data from cancer registries.
- We use one approach for estimating mortality data in 187 countries. GLOBOCAN data are based on 26 different approaches for different groups of countries. The approach used for Saudi Arabia and South Africa, for example, is different from the one used for Vietnam and China.
- Many of the approaches used for estimating mortality in the GLOBOCAN data rely on trends observed in Nordic countries. We believe relying on such a limited number of countries leads to an overestimation of MI ratios in many developing countries, particularly for breast cancer.
A detailed discussion of our methods can be found in the Web Appendixwith the journal article.