1). It is the common cause of death from cancer for NSW women, 862 deaths in 2001 (ibid.). In Victoria, figures for 2007 showed an incidence of 3,188 new cases per 100,000 population with 708 deaths (www.cancervic.org.au, 2007, p. 12).
One in eleven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 75 (www.cancerscreening.gov.au). It is a leading cause of death among women in 45-55 age bracket (www.imaginis.com, 2010, p. 1). The lifetime chance of ever developing breast cancer is 4.8% in developed Western countries (due to higher hormone use) but only 1.8% in poorer countries. By age groups, those below 20 years old have the lowest prevalence (1 in 1,985). Those in older age groups have higher prevalence rates of 1 in 37 by age 50; 1 in 26 by age 60 and 1 in 24 by age 70. The greatest risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (by simply growing older) with about 90% of cases due to the ageing process and not due to heredity (www.breastcancer.org, 2010, p. 1).
Some 14,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year; this makes it the most common cancer among Australian women (BCNA, 2010, p. 1). There is hope, however, as latest statistics indicated a 5-year survival rate of 88%. The average age of a first diagnosis is 60 years old but 75% of new cases develop in women who are 50 years old or older; while women with higher incomes have a higher incidence rate compared to lower-income women (134 vs. 110 but 21.1 overall deaths per 100,000 population). Over 70% of cases diagnosed occur in women aged 50 or older but those women aged 50-69 can reduce chances of dying by 30% if they opt to have a breast screen once every two years (www.bcig.org.au, 2009, p. 1). About 95% of all breast cancer cases occurred in women aged 40 or older but there is an observed decrease in women aged 80 and above