Reactions: Commission denounces lack of knowledge about the impact of breast cancer on social and personal lives

Although breast cancer mortality has reduced by more than 40% in most high-income countries, a Lancet commission warns that one million people will die from the disease by 2040, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The authors highlight some of the knowledge gaps that persist about the disease, such as the lack of knowledge about the number of patients living with metastatic breast cancer and their needs, or the costs associated with breast cancer - including physical, psychological, social and economic costs - which, according to the authors, are immense but underestimated, and not adequately reflected in global health indicators. 

16/04/2024 - 00:30 CEST
Expert reactions

comisión Lancet - Olga Monteagudo EN

Olga Monteagudo Piqueras

Head of the Health Promotion and Education Service at the Regional Ministry of Health of the Region of Murcia, General Directorate of Public Health and Addictions

Science Media Centre Spain

This work is very good and interesting. The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission uses the scientific method to highlight the existing opportunities for the overall improvement (in prevention, treatment, and follow-up) of breast cancer management, which, worldwide, is the most frequent type of cancer. 

Based on the existing scientific evidence, the study makes a series of proposals aimed mainly at public policymakers to guarantee their effectiveness and feasibility. Worldwide, the overall aims are to:    

  • Ramp up prevention efforts, focusing on factors that can be modified, such as alcohol consumption in women (a risk factor for breast cancer).  
  • Improve early detection of breast cancer.  
  • Take women's preferences for treatment into account and ensure that they take an active part throughout the whole process.  
  • Create and improve information systems (cancer registries).  
  • Research the societal return on investment.   

The group of experts proposes that implementing these measures will reduce the inequalities in breast cancer management amongst women. 

The author has declared they have no conflicts of interest

comisión Lancet - Miguel Martín EN

Miguel Martín

Head of the Medical Oncology Department of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital and president of GEICAM

Science Media Centre Spain

This is a proper article with highly trustable authors. Their claims essentially refer to low-income countries. In Spain, the treatment and approach to breast cancer is correct. 

The author has not responded to our request to declare conflicts of interest
The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission
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The Lancet
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Charlotte E Coles et al.

Study types:
  • Report
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