Five year survival rate for breast cancer improves by 15 per cent

The five-year survival rate for breast cancer has improved by 15% between 1994 and 2015, representing almost a halving of the five-year mortality risk over this period, according to the National Cancer Registry.

‘Cancer Trends Report on Breast Cancer’ looks at trends in breast cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis, mortality and survival for the period 1994-2016.

The Report showed that 62,052 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed from 1994-2016 (61,617 female and 435 males).

It also showed that increasingly breast cancer was being diagnosed at an earlier stage – the percentage of Stage I cases increased from 21% in 1994-1999 to 33% in 2008-2015.

The Department of report demonstrated the influence of the BreastCheck programme.  The median age at diagnosis was 59 years and 40% of cases were in the breast screening age cohort (50-64).

It said the extension of BreastCheck to those aged 65 – 69 was being progressed and would be fully implemented by the end of 2021 and that although, the number of deaths per year due to breast cancer had remained relatively stable over the period, due to our increasing and aging population, mortality rates showed a consistent downward trend over the past 20+ years.