Breast cancer death rate in UK plummets

New research shows that the death rate from breast cancer has fallen considerably in the United Kingdom over the last 20 years.

The results

The decline in the death rate from breast cancer was the fastest of any other major European country, falling by over 34 per cent between 1989 and 2006.

Of the constituents of the United Kingdom, England and Wales showed the fastest decline (35 per cent) and Northern Ireland showed the slowest decline (29 per cent). Of all European countries Iceland had the largest fall in mortality rates from this medical condition.

Although the improvement in survival rates has been very large this improvement was from a very poor base level. Previously death rates in the UK were the worst in Europe and, even after the improvement, the UK currently sits sixth from bottom in the rankings. In the UK breast cancer still kills over 12,000 women, according this latest study published in the British Medical Journal.

Many commentators and charities argue this research suggests that new treatments, procedures and processes in the UK are starting to come into fruition.

The research

In order to compile the study, researchers from a number of European countries noted the cause of death from death certificates across most European countries.

The research found that death rates from breast cancer in the UK fell from 41.6 deaths per 100,000 females in 1989 to 28.2 per 100,000 females in 2006.

The link to income protection

The increase in the survival rate for breast cancer is a much-needed step in the right direction for UK women. However, with increases in medicine we are starting to survive more conditions and really need to consider our financial protection whilst receiving treatment.

A condition like breast cancer may require treatment over a number of years and require a significant amount of time off work. Income protection plans can provide a financial safety net by providing a monthly income to replace lost income whilst suffering from practically any medical condition that keeps you out of work, including breast cancer.