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As of 2020, breast cancer has become the most diagnosed cancer globally, overtaking lung and prostate cancers. Breast cancer incidence is increasing globally with cases expected to reach 364,000 in the year 2040. Part of this increase may be attributed to improved detection but some, especially in lower developed countries, may be due to changes in female fertility patterns along with lifestyle changes. Developed countries have the highest incidence of breast cancer. Mortality rates vary widely from global region to region but are highest in socio-economically low areas, reflecting a lack of access to early screening and timely treatment. Even in developed countries, the disproportionately high mortality rate among black women and white women further underscores existing health inequality. This chapter aims to provide a global epidemiological overview of breast cancer incidence and mortality.
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