Australia breast cancer cases double

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BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- A new report shows breast cancer rates have more than doubled in the past 20 years in Australia, but more women are surviving the disease than before.

The report, issued Monday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the National Breast Cancer Centre (NBCC), shows the number of Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer each year has more than doubled in two decades, from 5,318 in 1983 to 12,027 in 2002 and an estimated 13,261 this year.

NBCC spokeswoman Helen Zorbas said the rise in the number of breast cancer cases can be attributed in part to lifestyle factors such as increased alcohol consumption, obesity, delaying childbirth and a reduction in breastfeeding.

But the report also shows that the risk of women dying before the age of 75 from breast cancer dropped from a one in 43 risk in 19983 to a one in 56 risk in 2004.

More than 85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in the 21st century can expect to be living five years later, while in the early '80s the figure was only 71 percent.

Zorbas says advances in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer means more patients are surviving the disease than ever before.

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