Around 10,732 Belgians were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, according to recent data from the Cancer Register Foundation.
These results are stable compared to 2016 when 10,735 cases were recorded, according to the latest figures, shared with the Belga news agency by Think Pink, the national anti-breast-cancer campaign.
“With 10,627 cases, breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among women. 105 men were also affected by the same cancer. Things have remained steady for the last few years in spite of a constantly growing population due to immigration and increased life expectancy,” Think Pink analysed.
The difference between so-called accumulative risks until the age of 74 is striking. “Whereas in Flanders, as a woman, you have an 11.14% risk of contracting breast cancer before the age of 75, in Wallonia the risk is 11.45% or 1 woman in 9,” the association pointed out. Walloon women are therefore more exposed. Perhaps better organised and effective screening and prevention campaigns in Flanders are showing how effective they are. But regular practice of a sport and the adoption of a healthy lifestyle are also variables that need to be taken into account.
Compared to the situation 10 years ago, the number of young women under 50 diagnosed with breast cancer has gone down by 10%, Think Pink added. It is, therefore, has to be said that treatment is improving.
“Belgium is among the best in Europe in this field. With more than a 90% chance of (patients) being cured, we have made great progress over the last decade. And we will continue to invest in scientific research independently of the pharmaceutical firms,” the association said.