October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This means the debate over mammograms is ushered in for a brutal 30-days while the NFL wears pink shoes. But oddly, breast cancer death rates have declined sharply in recent years, according to a new report. Chemotherapy is being given the greatest portion of the credit. As well, so have mammograms.
According to the Washington Post.
Breast cancer death rates increased by 0.4 percent per year from 1975 to 1989, according to the study. After that, mortality rates decreased rapidly, for a 39 percent drop overall through 2015. The report, the latest to document a long-term reduction in breast-cancer mortality, attributed the declines to both improvements in treatments and to early detection by mammography.
Deanna Attai, a breast cancer surgeon at the University of California at Los Angeles who was not involved in the study, said the advances in treatment included much better chemotherapy regimens — developed in the 1980s and refined ever since — that are administered post-surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence. Other improvements have included tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen agent that was approved in the late 1970s; Herceptin, a drug used to treat tumors with a higher-than-normal level of a protein called HER2 and drugs called aromatase inhibitors.
Breast cancer remains the most diagnosed cancer on earth. And that continues to make it the target of pharmaceutical campaigns that are at times, considered controversial. Many feel that the Susan G. Komen Foundation is a scam. While the charity does have a high rating on Charity Navigator, many other sources condemn the charity as being more nefarious than meets the eye. The website thinkbeforepink.com outlines what they feel are reasons to avoid the charity.
So what do you think is the reason for breast cancer death rates declining?