Breast Cancer Mortality Falling in Croatia for Fifth Consecutive Year

Total Croatia News

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Image: Pexels
Image: Pexels

Breast cancer is now the third leading type of cancer causing death in the female population, after lung and colon cancer.

In terms of breast cancer mortality, Croatia ranks 15th in the EU, which is better than average.

Daffodil Day will be observed this year for the 26th time, on the first Saturday in spring, to raise awareness of the importance of preventive breast examinations.

In 2019, Croatia recorded 2,999 cases of breast cancer (143.2 cases per 100,000 population), and 722 women died of that disease in 2020 (34.7 deaths per 100,000 population).

Due to population ageing, it is forecasted that more women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Most cases are diagnosed in older women, with more than 80% of new cases consisting of women aged 50 and over. Even though younger women, too, can be diagnosed with breast cancer, such cases are more rare. This stresses the importance of breast examinations as soon as one reaches early adulthood.

The drop in breast cancer mortality is partly owing to the implementation of the national programme for early breast cancer screening and detection, launched in 2006. This initiative includes invitations to mammographies to all women aged between 50-69, every two years, it also includes better diagnostic and treatment methods.

According to the 2019 European Health Interview Survey, 77.3% of Croatian women aged 50-69 underwent screening in the past two to three years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mammographies were put on hold for only three months, in the spring of 2020, during the lockdown. However, all women who missed their check-up at the time received a new invitation to a new screening apointment in the autumn of 2020.

Around 150,000 women a year respond to invitations for mammography, and so far more than 7,000 new cases of breast cancer have been diagnosed through this initiative.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.


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