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Breast cancer expected to result in one million annual deaths by 2040, warns Lancet commission



Breast cancer to cause a million deaths a year by 2040: Lancet commission, ET HealthWorld

A recent Lancet commission report has highlighted the alarming increase in breast cancer cases worldwide, predicting it to become the most common carcinogenic disease by 2040. The report estimates that around 7.8 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in the five years leading up to 2020, with approximately 685,000 women succumbing to the disease in the same year. Globally, the number of breast cancer cases is expected to rise from 2.3 million in 2020 to over 3 million by 2040, particularly affecting low- and middle-income countries.

The Lancet commission pointed out the glaring inequities in addressing the challenges posed by breast cancer, leading to significant suffering among patients. The report emphasized the need for improved communication between patients and health professionals as a crucial intervention to enhance the quality of life, body image, therapy adherence, and overall survival rates.

Reshma Jagsi from Emory University School of Medicine in the US highlighted the historical disparities in according fundamental human rights to women, affecting patient agency and autonomy, especially in healthcare settings. Jagsi stressed the importance of healthcare professionals receiving communication skills training to enhance patient-professional interactions, which could have far-reaching positive impacts beyond breast cancer management.

Moreover, Jagsi emphasized the significance of empowering patients to exercise their voices and choose their level of involvement in care decisions, underscoring the importance of patient autonomy and agency in the treatment process. The Lancet commission’s recommendations aim to address the various challenges and inequities associated with breast cancer care, ultimately striving to improve outcomes and enhance patient well-being.

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