Uterine cancer is fourth most common type of cancer among young women in Belgium
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Uterine cancer is fourth most common type of cancer among young women in Belgium

More than 600 women were diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2018, out of whom 235 died. Credit: Pixabay

More than 200 women died from uterine cancer in 2018, according to newly released figures which reveal the disease is the fourth most prevalent type of cancer among young Belgian women.

The figures were published on Tuesday by Sciensano, a public health research institute of the federal health ministry, as part of a report carried out jointly with the International Cancer Foundation.

A total of 640 women in Belgium were diagnosed with uterine cancer last year, out of an estimated total of 570,000 worldwide, with 235 dying from it.

According to the report, uterine cancer ranks number 14 in terms of the most commons cancers affecting women of all ages in Belgium, but its prevalence among young women is much higher.

“In Belgium, around 1% of women develop uterine cancer before their 75th birthday,” study author Marc Arbyn said. “Among women aged 25 to 44, [uterine cancer] is the most prevalent type of cancer.”

The report found that human papillomavirus (HPV) was the most common cause behind a woman developing uterine cancer throughout 2018, the same year in which the World Health Organisation (OMS) urged governments to increase preventative measures for the disease.

For authorities in Belgium to effectively curb the emergence of new cases of uterine cancer, an unified public health strategy is needed, the authors of the study said.

“Differences between the regions show that Belgium needs an integrated approach regarding screening and anti-HPV vaccination, in all regions of the country,” Arbyn said.

Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia currently handle prevention separately, which are compounded with “asymmetrical” efforts in terms of screening undermining Belgium’s chances to meet OMS guidelines, according to Arbyn.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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