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Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 1956; 15:5-41.The author reviews that mortality statistics from cancer of the breast in females and from malignant neoplasms of the uterus and of the other female genital organs for nineteen countries over the years 1920-53, first considering the general trend of the mortality series for each group of diseases for all ages and then analysing for each sector of mortality the changes which have occurred in the age-specific death-rates in some pivotal years during the same period. Considerable differences in the levels of total mortality from each group of tumours for various countries are noted. The important variations among age-specific death-rates for cancer of the breast in females and for uterine neoplasms in various countries are examined and their significance is commented upon. (excerpt)
The WHO Collaborative Study of Neoplasia and Steroid Contraceptives: the influence of combined oral contraceptives on risk of neoplasms in developing and developed countries.
CONTRACEPTION. 1991 Jun; 43(6):695-710.A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in 8 developing and 3 developed countries to determine whether use of combined oral contraceptives (OCs) alters risks of various cancers. An observed trend of increasing risk of invasive cervical cancer with duration of use may not represent a causal relationship and is the subject of further study. Decreased risks of ovarian and endometrial carcinomas in users likely indicate a protective effect of OCs, the degree of which was similar in developing and developed countries. A small increase in risk of breast cancer in recent and current users was found to be somewhat greater in developing countries. Both causal and noncausal interpretations of this finding have been offered. No associations were found between OCs and in situ cervical, hepatocellular, cholangio, or gallbladder carcinomas, or uterine sarcomas. However, the ability of this study to detect alterations in risks for these neoplasms in longterm users was low. (author's)
WORLD HEALTH STATISTICS QUARTERLY. RAPPORT TRIMESTRIEL DE STATISTIQUES SANITAIRES MONDIALES. 1987; 40(3):267-78.The primary cause of death in women in the world is cancer. In most developing countries cancer of the cervix is the most prevalent cancer. Breast cancer has this distinction in Latin America and the developed countries of North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. It is also the most prevalent cancer worldwide. The most common cancer in Japan and the Soviet Union is stomach cancer. Effective early detection programs can reduce both breast and cervical cancer mortality and also the degree and duration of treatment required. In Iceland, cervical cancer mortality declined 60% between the periods of 1959-1970 and 1975-1978. Programs consist of mammography, physician breast and self examination, and Pap smear. The sophisticated early detection equipment and techniques are expensive and largely located in urban areas, however, and not accessible to urban poor women and rural women, especially in developing countries. Tobacco smoking attributes to 80-90% of all lung cancer deaths worldwide and 30% of all cancer deaths. Passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer to 25-35% in nonsmokers who breathe in tobacco smoke. Since smoking rates of women are skyrocketing, health specialists fear that lung cancer will replace cervical and breast cancers as the most common cancer in women worldwide in 20-30 years. Tobacco use also contributes to the high incidence of oral cancer in Southern and South Eastern Asia. For example, in India, incidence of oral cancer in women is 3-7 times higher than in developed countries with the smoking and chewing of tobacco in betel quid contributing. Techniques already exist to prevent 1/3 of all cancers. If cases can be discovered early enough and adequate treatment applied, another 1/3 of the cases can be cured. In those cases where the cancer cannot be cured, drugs can relieve 80-90% of the pain.
Histologic types of breast carcinoma in relation to international variation and breast cancer risk factors. WHO Collaborative Study of Neoplasia and Steroid Contraceptives.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER. 1989 Sep 15; 44(3):399-409.Associations between breast cancer risk factors and histologic types of invasive breast carcinoma were studied in 2728 patients. Lobular and tubular carcinomas occurred with increased relative frequency in most high risk groups. The proportion of these types increased with age to a maximum at 45-49 years and decreased in the following decade. Significantly increased proportions of lobular and tubular carcinomas were also associated with high risk countries, prior benign breast biopsy, bilateral breast cancer, concurrent mammary dysplasia, high age at 1st livebirth, never-pregnant patients compared to those with a 1st livebirth before age 20, private pay status, and length of education. Nonsignificant increases were associated with family history of breast cancer, less than 5 livebirths, less than 25 months total breastfeeding, use of oral contraceptives or IUD, and high occupational class. As a general trend, the higher the overall relative risk, the higher the proportion of lobular and tubular carcinomas. The occurrence of other histologic types also increased breast cancer risk, but to a smaller degree than for lobular/tubular carcinomas. It is suggested that all hormonally related, socioeconomic, and geographic risk factors enter their effect by selectively increasing the number of lobular cells at risk. Family history of breast cancer and age over 49 years did not follow the general trend of parallel increases in the proportion of lobular/tubular carcinomas and breast cancer risk, and may operate through other mechanisms. (author's)