Breast Cancer Deaths Decreased By 2%

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The breast cancer mortality rate in the U.S. decreased by about 2% annually from 2001 to 2004, according to an American Cancer Society report released Tuesday, Reuters reports.

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Thereport -- titled "Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2007-2008" --found breast cancer diagnoses decreased by 3.7% annually on averageduring the study period in part because fewer women were taking hormonereplacement therapy and fewer women were receiving mammograms (Reuters, 9/25). In 2002, results were released from the Women's Health Initiativestudy showing that HRT appeared to increase the risk of breast cancerand other health problems. Prescriptions for HRT declined by at least38% in 2003 and by an additional 20% in 2004 (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 4/20). According to a report published in the Jan. 26 edition of CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,the percentage of U.S. women ages 40 and older who reported receiving amammogram declined from 76.4% in 2000 to 74.6% in 2005 (Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report, 1/26).

Amongwomen older than age 50, breast cancer diagnoses decreased by about4.8% annually since 2001, the report found. However, breast cancerrates remained stable among black women and women younger than age 50.About 2.4 million U.S. women who were alive in 2004 had a history ofbreast cancer, according to the report.

Harmon Eyre, chiefmedical officer of ACS, in a statement said that the report shows that"a woman today has a lower chance of dying from breast cancer thanshe's had in decades." The ACS estimates that there will be about180,510 new breast cancer diagnoses in 2007 and that 40,910 men andwomen will die of the disease, Reuters reports (Reuters, 9/25).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view theentire Kaiser DailyWomen's Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for emaildelivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, afree service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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