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      Global patterns and trends in the breast cancer incidence and mortality according to sociodemographic indices: an observational study based on the global burden of diseases


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          Disparities in the global burden of breast cancer have been identified. We aimed to investigate recent patterns and trends in the breast cancer incidence and associated mortality. We also assessed breast cancer-related health inequalities according to socioeconomic development factors.


          An observational study based on the Global Burden of Diseases.


          Estimates of breast cancer incidence and mortality during 1990–2016 were obtained from the Global Health Data Exchange database. Subsequently, data obtained in 2016 were described using the age-standardised and age-specific incidence, mortality and mortality-to-incidence (MI) ratios according to sociodemographic index (SDI) levels. Trends were assessed by measuring the annual percent change using the joinpoint regression. The Gini coefficients and concentration indices were used to identify between-country inequalities.


          Countries with higher SDI levels had worse disease incidence burdens in 2016, whereas inequalities in the breast cancer incidence had decreased since 1990. Opposite trends were observed in the mortality rates of high and low SDI countries. Moreover, the decreasing concentration indices, some of which became negative, among women aged 15–49 and 50–69 years suggested an increase in the mortality burdens in undeveloped regions. Conversely, inequality related to the MI ratio increased. In 2016, the MI ratios exhibited distinct gradients from high to low SDI regions across all age groups.


          The patterns and trends in breast cancer incidence and mortality closely correlated with the SDI levels. Our findings highlighted the primary prevention of breast cancer in high SDI countries with a high disease incidence and the development of cost-effective diagnostic and treatment interventions for low SDI countries with poor MI ratios as the two pressing needs in the next decades.

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          Most cited references16

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          The global burden of women’s cancers: a grand challenge in global health

          Every year, more than 2 million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, yet where a woman lives, her socioeconomic status, and agency largely determines whether she will develop one of these cancers and will ultimately survive. In regions with scarce resources, fragile or fragmented health systems, cancer contributes to the cycle of poverty. Proven and cost-effective interventions are available for both these common cancers, yet for so many women access to these is beyond reach. These inequities highlight the urgent need in low-income and middle-income countries for sustainable investments in the entire continuum of cancer control, from prevention to palliative care, and in the development of high-quality population-based cancer registries. In this first paper of the Series on health, equity, and women's cancers, we describe the burden of breast and cervical cancer, with an emphasis on global and regional trends in incidence, mortality, and survival, and the consequences, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged women in different settings.
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            Screening for breast cancer with mammography

            A variety of estimates of the benefits and harms of mammographic screening for breast cancer have been published and national policies vary. To assess the effect of screening for breast cancer with mammography on mortality and morbidity. We searched PubMed (22 November 2012) and the World Health Organization's International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (22 November 2012). Randomised trials comparing mammographic screening with no mammographic screening. Two authors independently extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Eight eligible trials were identified. We excluded a trial because the randomisation had failed to produce comparable groups.The eligible trials included 600,000 women in the analyses in the age range 39 to 74 years. Three trials with adequate randomisation did not show a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer mortality at 13 years (relative risk (RR) 0.90, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.79 to 1.02); four trials with suboptimal randomisation showed a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality with an RR of 0.75 (95% CI 0.67 to 0.83). The RR for all seven trials combined was 0.81 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.87). We found that breast cancer mortality was an unreliable outcome that was biased in favour of screening, mainly because of differential misclassification of cause of death. The trials with adequate randomisation did not find an effect of screening on total cancer mortality, including breast cancer, after 10 years (RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.10) or on all-cause mortality after 13 years (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.03).Total numbers of lumpectomies and mastectomies were significantly larger in the screened groups (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.22 to 1.42), as were number of mastectomies (RR 1.20, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.32). The use of radiotherapy was similarly increased whereas there was no difference in the use of chemotherapy (data available in only two trials). If we assume that screening reduces breast cancer mortality by 15% and that overdiagnosis and overtreatment is at 30%, it means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will avoid dying of breast cancer and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress including anxiety and uncertainty for years because of false positive findings. To help ensure that the women are fully informed before they decide whether or not to attend screening, we have written an evidence-based leaflet for lay people that is available in several languages on www.cochrane.dk. Because of substantial advances in treatment and greater breast cancer awareness since the trials were carried out, it is likely that the absolute effect of screening today is smaller than in the trials. Recent observational studies show more overdiagnosis than in the trials and very little or no reduction in the incidence of advanced cancers with screening.
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              conindex: Estimation of concentration indices.

              Concentration indices are frequently used to measure inequality in one variable over the distribution of another. Most commonly, they are applied to the measurement of socioeconomic-related inequality in health. We introduce a user-written Stata command conindex which provides point estimates and standard errors of a range of concentration indices. The command also graphs concentration curves (and Lorenz curves) and performs statistical inference for the comparison of inequality between groups. The article offers an accessible introduction to the various concentration indices that have been proposed to suit different measurement scales and ethical responses to inequality. The command's capabilities and syntax are demonstrated through analysis of wealth-related inequality in health and healthcare in Cambodia.

                Author and article information

                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Open
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                7 October 2019
                : 9
                : 10
                : e028461
                [1 ] Cancer Institute, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, College of Medicine , Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
                [2 ] departmentDepartment of Breast Surgery , The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, College of Medicine , Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Suzhan Zhang; zrsj@ 123456zju.edu.cn
                © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

                This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

                : 11 December 2018
                : 28 August 2019
                : 29 August 2019
                Original Research
                Custom metadata

                breast cancer,mortality-to-incidence ratio,socio-demographic index,gini coefficient,concentration index


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