New global stats on breast cancer

You may have seen on the news that the UK is ranked no 11 in the world for rates of breast cancer. The headline of course is that alcohol and poor diet are linked to this high incidence.

I’m all for health promotion and taking some personal responsibility but the articles I’ve seen don’t give a very full picture at all.

They don’t mention that in the more developed countries for example, women are more likely to be taking the contraceptive pill and HRT and less likely to have so many children. Also women are probably living longer on the whole in developed countries.

And is it really true that women in the UK eat more than their counterparts in the USA? I thought obesity was greater over there. Probably drinking alcohol is higher though.

I hate the fact that some people will be looking at me and thinking it’s all her fault she probably drank too much or ate unhealthily. Maybe I’m being over sensitive…

Here’s a link to a piece in the Telegraph:

The data comes from the World Health Organisation and compiled by in a table by the World Cancer Research Fund:

OK…so then why have I got it…because it is probably genetic!
I just hate these sort of articles as it fuels the ‘lets beat ourselves uo because we caused it’ demon lurking in our minds…its always breast cancer that they use as an example never prostate etc…its the same sort of thing that makes headlines ‘with children suffer when women work’…just kick us in the teeth again!

I have an inkling that we in the west have other factors in our lives that cause many cancers to kick off…one being that less of us die in infancy etc. Survival of the fittest works in many poor countries just like it used to here before the advent of modern medicine and the more folks live the more cancers etc get diagnosed…

Also how are people to think and feel when they may have had the odd glass or 2 and are made to feel its their fault…its disgusting!

I for one as many of you know lead a v healthy lifestyle and am not over weight and dont drink a lot…same with my mum, gran, aunt and daughter…should I beat myself up that I like the odd beer, brew my own wine, eat a take away about 6 times a year?..NO!

Agree that these articles can be unhelpful. Did I get BC because I drink too much or because my Mum and her mother (both teetotallers) both had BC? I suspect the genetic factor is stronger.

AGree also! I’ve been beating myself up a lot lately over my diet (I really should eat oily fish when I absolutely hate it etc etc). Probably genetic with me as my mum (diagnosed 3 weeks after me), aunt, grandmother, great aunt also had BC.

what a load of tosh, dont even bother reading it. Beaurocrats, news reporters, drugs company, politicians will all come up with some such nonsense when the truth is they dont have a clue.

I saw this in the paper this morning and it made me so angry.I was never overweight before I had bc I am now cos of the stupid drugs. Had the odd glass of wine but was busy having 4 children all breast fed and had them young I was 39 when first diagnosed according to cancer research I should of been in the low risk group. Fed up with feeling this is all my fault!!!

I agree

It is always breast cancer that gets cited I am sure because it is mostly women who get it. we often give ourselves enough of a hard time feeling guilty thinking we must have done something wrong in our lives to make us get it without these articles adding fuel. I just hope that when the proper research being done (can’t remember which charity?) with 100,000 women we may get some proper answers.
If I am to blame for getting this because I drank too much or ate badly then so be it - I will take responsibility but so many of us do these things should we really pile on that guilt to how bad we feel already for making our loved ones go through the pain of seeing us deal with this. I think not

If there’s anything good to come out of it, it is at least putting breast cancer in the news again, and might prompt people to check themselves and get referred if there is cause for concern.

And that’s about the only good thing I can think of! As usual, the headline-grabbing soundbites don’t even scratch the surface, but do you honestly expect anything more from the media?

I do so agree with all that’s been written: what a very unhelpful slant the Telegraph has put on the stats- - depressing though they are.

Still I guess they need sensation to sell the papers and its easy to slew the whole study by quoting selective extracts.
Have to say I never seemed to see all these unhealthy, obese people during my time in the oncolgy and rads dept: the women there always seemed slim- especially the younger ones… There did actually seem to be plenty of the ‘generously proportioned’ sitting in the snack bars or going between the various other departments…and quite a lot of them were in nurses’ uniforms…
I think did all the right things and don’t drink and gave up smoking 30 years ago but of course I took HRT (and would do so again!) …and then I got old… so that was my second “wrong thing”!

Another sensation grabbing headline - which worked as I did buy the paper but since I eat pretty healthily, have low to zero alcohol consumption and do strenuous exercise this BC is not my fault and agree with topsymo you don’t see many overweight people at the clinic - I certainly didn’t on my visit today.

Oh yes you do - and they’re the ones who work at the hospital! There seems to be a disproportionate amount of “larger” people working at my hospital, which I find surprising as if there’s a work environment where healthy living should be promoted, it’s the hospitals!

Sorry - I did mean the patients.

I didn’t buy the paper but read it in the Co-op (plenty of space by the news stand). I was overweight before bc and didn’t do enough exercise (roughly once a week instead of the recommended 3 to 4 times) but didn’t drink excessively. I’m still overweight and I guess anyone I now who has read that article will think that’s the explanation. I think it’s more complicated but if people think it’s my fault, nothing I can do about that.

I get really angry at how the media report on breast cancer and how they manipulate statistics to get a cheap headline.
My mum was diagnosed at 43, I was 41 and we have a high incidence of other related cancers in the (maternal side) family.
Pre-diagnosis I exercised 3 times a week, was a size 14 (always have been) and ate a healthy diet. Why did I get cancer? I believe it was in my genes when I was born.
It’s not only a really cheap shot to suggest lifestyle alone is the bc trigger, but naive, uninformed etc…Shame so many people read this trash.

MMMMM I was thinking exactly what several others have said…all the fatties in the hospital seem to be the staff…really sorry if that offends…not meant to at all, I just get sick to the back teeth of folks blaming me for bringing it on myself…I even had a good friend tell me that it is because I use deodorant…she meant well but…

Oh and the comments re reading trash…absolutely…but would have expected a bit more thought from what is reputed to be one of the better newspapers!!

Oh hell, if it was in the Telegraph then no doubt my 81 year old father will cut it out carefully and send it in the post to me… unless my darling mother manages to catch him at it and intercepts the post… grrrrr. I know darn well that no one really knows why we get bc, and that there are as many different lifestyles on here as there are different women - but it makes me furious that other people (including my family) might now assume that I’ve brought it all on myself because I put on weight (having/breastfeeding four children), occasionally have a beer and am too busy running around after four kids, a husband, four dogs and holding down two jobs to get to the gym…

Well, if it does arrive in the post, remind me my dear old dad is 81 and well meaning before I commit patricide…

According to the Independent,‘Denmark has the highest ranking, but this may be due to better diagnosis and reporting there (although Danish women do also have high rates of smoking and drinking).’

Hmm, how come higher rates in other countries can be explained away?


Peculiar isn’t it, how many fat nurses there are working in hospitals? A surprising percentage of the nurses I saw at the cancer treatment hospital, the hospital where I had surgery, and the local hospital where they do the mammograms, were HUGE! And I say this as one who is significantly overweight herself!
But aside from that I sympathise with triphazard99 - my parents also get the Telegraph, and although they wouldn’t be foolish enough to cut the article out and send it to me (they could predict my reaction), I can just see them nodding knowingly to each other. And that despite the family history!
Sarah x

When I was a kid, newspaper had various uses. Chip-shops wrapped chips in it, school kids made paper-mache bowls with it, and my late mum used to put squares of newspaper on a string, so that we could use it as toilet paper. They don’t wrap chips in it anymore, and I don’t think kids make bowls out of it anymore, but this article reminds me that my old mum had the perfect use for it.

I wrote a big long response, but pressed the wrong button and lost it. Not to worry (I don’t stuff grapes either).

I know how many things I have done RIGHT to counteract what anyone might say I’ve done WRONG.

Lemongrove’s got the right idea.