The breast cancer capital?

johnboy 3 September 2010 8

The ABC has the concerning news that Canberra has the highest breast cancer rates in the country:

The report by the Breast Cancer Treatment Group looked at nearly 3,000 patients in Canberra and south-east New South Wales from 1997 to 2007.

It found the ACT has Australia’s highest rate of female breast cancer with about 200 new cases diagnosed in women and one new case in men each year.

But the report shows survival rates are also high.

Any theories?

UPDATE: Katy Gallagher’s media release on this is now online as is the ten year report.


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8 Responses to The breast cancer capital?
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WonderfulWorld WonderfulWorld 8:45 pm 03 Sep 10

I thought with the transiency of the people it would have nothing to do with the ACT itself. Although RA had a posting recently about a “sick” building in Deakin so who knows.

jdmal jdmal 5:48 pm 03 Sep 10

It’s the politicians.

Leinna Leinna 5:27 pm 03 Sep 10

The ACT has an excellent cancer registry, which is possible because we have one big hospital for the entire area (sorry Calvary, you don’t count) and a centralised pathology service. This means that every patient that comes through the hospital can be entered into the database.

I wonder if that is why we have such ‘high’ cancer rates… because we can monitor it so closely!

Fiona Fiona 4:54 pm 03 Sep 10

There’s plenty of volunteers to help with breast exams? And maybe us ladies are actually taking it up?

ForReal ForReal 12:51 pm 03 Sep 10

No wait – there’s the error…

“The ACT has the highest age-standardised [sic] incidence of breast cancer in Australia, with approximately 200 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed per year in women, and one new case per year in men,” Ms Gallagher said.

What a silly and misleading statement. We want the ‘proportional’ statistic — ie. per capita, not the number of incidents!

It’s also a bit misleading to use the “ACT” as a statistical boundary. It would help to have some data relating possible causality – like workplace proximity to industry, time spent traveling on public transport, hours spent waiting where 3 lanes of GDE merge to 1 and so on.

ForReal ForReal 12:40 pm 03 Sep 10

Well, depending on how the ACT wants to appear in the stats, the first thing we might suggest is changing the ACT Border.

Waiting For Godot Waiting For Godot 11:21 am 03 Sep 10

Could it have something to do with the fact that Canberra women are usually better educated and more aware of women’s health issues and therefore more likely to recognise the symptoms of breast cancer and get help?

astrojax astrojax 11:06 am 03 Sep 10

well, statistically, one city has to have the highest rate of cancers.

and then there are some of the supposed risk factors, like childless women or women who give birth later in their lives, both likely to be the sort of women who pursue public service careers..?

that, and the fact that cancer loves being overcharged five dollars for pizza, so canberra is its spiritual home…

sadly, the article doesn’t provide data for comparison – so does the mean average equate to 199 new cases, or 99, or what?

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