| GEO Health|
Breast cancer rates 4 times higher than east Africa
| Updated at: 1436 PST, Monday, August 09, 2010|
LONDON: The number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer is four times higher in Britain than in eastern Africa, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) said.
The non-profit association found that 87.9 British women in every 100,000 were diagnosed with the disease in 2008, compared with 19.3 in east Africa.
Superior diagnostic and recording techniques in Britain account for some of the variation, but the WCRF warned that lifestyle decisions were also reinforcing the trend.
Scientists highlighted obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and lower breastfeeding rates as factors contributing to the alarming figures.
"The fact that breast cancer rates in eastern Africa are so much lower than in the UK is a stark reminder that every year in this country, thousands of women are diagnosed with a case of cancer that could have been prevented," Dr Rachel Thompson, deputy head of science for the WCRF, said.
"The fact that rates of breast cancer are much lower in other parts of the world highlights the fact that breast cancer is not inevitable. This means we need to do more to get across the message that just by making relatively simple changes to our lifestyle, women can reduce their risk of breast cancer.
"Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers in the UK could be prevented just through eating healthily, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight," she added.