Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Czech women. Over 7,000 new cases are detected in our country every year. Prevention, innovative procedures and medicinal products have helped to prolong the lives and to improve the comfort of patients.
A malignant tumor in the breast tissue is the most frequently diagnosed cancer after skin cancer. Not only women, but rarely also men, can develop breast cancer. Thanks to regular breast cancer screenings, the tumor in many women is diagnosed at an early stage, when the chance of recovery is almost 100%. Mortality has significantly decreased even at later stages of breast cancer thanks to highly innovative medicines; patients spend less time in hospitals and can live a full life.
More effective and less invasive treatment
New drugs targeting specific parts (receptors) of cancer cells are more effective and less toxic. „Patients tolerate new therapies and targeted biological treatment better because they do not have the overall symptoms of previously used chemotherapy. The survival rate has also increased in the long term; the life expectancy of patients over 65 approaches that of the general population,” says Mgr. Jakub Dvořáček, MHA, executive director of the Association of Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry (AIFP).
Prevention, innovative procedures and innovative medicinal products have helped to prolong patients' lives by a total of 16,103 years compared to 2002-2006 and 2012–2016. The five-year survival rate has gradually increased since 1990 in all stages of breast cancer, including stage 4 (metastatic).
A longer professionally active life
Breast cancer is now diagnosed at earlier stages. In 2006, approximately one third of breast cancer cases were diagnosed at the first clinical stage. In 2016, almost half of breast cancer cases were diagnosed at the first clinical stage. This means that more patients have a good chance of being cured.
Patients also spend less time in the hospital. An increasing number of hospitalizations is less than one week. The percentage of hospitalizations of less than or equal to one week increased from 56.8% in 2007–2010 to 79.9% in 2015-2018. Approximately every 10th patient is hospitalized.
There are also disability pension savings. „Since 2010 alone, disability pension savings associated with breast cancer amounted to 1.52 billion Czech Crowns. Thanks to early diagnosis, women do not have to undergo difficult and expensive treatment and can lead a full life,” says Jakub Dvořáček.