In 30 percent of women with breast cancer, the disease progresses to an advanced stage, and in 5-10 percent of patients it is diagnosed when it has already metastasised to other organs, experts said at a Warsaw event promoting a new charity calendar by the OnkoCafe Foundation.
Doctor Agnieszka Jagiełło-Gruszfeld from the Breast Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic at the Oncology Center in Warsaw, said: “More women than ever before are turning up for treatment in the initial stage of the disease, with a tumor below 1 cm in diameter, which offers the greatest chance for effective treatment.”
She added: “However, there are still patients, even in major cities such as Warsaw, who do not want to examine themselves and go to the doctor when the tumour is at an advanced stage.”
Agata Polińska from the Alivia Oncological Foundation said that Poland is the only country among developed states where the mortality rate from breast cancer has been increasing for several years.
The incidence rate is also rising, Polińska said. In 2016, this type of cancer was detected in 19,000 Polish women. She added: “In other developed countries the incidence of breast cancer is also growing, but the mortality rate is dropping.”
Many Polish women do not undergo preventive examinations to detect breast cancer at an early stage.
A July survey by the ARC Market and Opinion research institute showed that almost half the women in Poland do not perform regular breast self-examinations.