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Time trends of female breast cancer mortality in Greece during 1980–2005: a population based study
  1. E Pavlidou1,2,
  2. M Zafrakas3,
  3. N Papadakis1,
  4. T Agorastos2,
  5. A Benos1
  1. 1Department of Hygiene, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
  2. 24th Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Hippokrateio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  3. 33rd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokrateio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Theodoros Agorastos, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of the 4th Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokrateion Hospital, Konstantinoupoleos 49, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece; agorast{at}


Background Changes in female breast cancer mortality trends have been observed in recent years in western countries. The aim of the present study was to analyse breast cancer mortality in Greece, between 1980 and 2005.

Methods Time trends of breast cancer mortality were calculated per 100 000 women in the whole female population of Greece, in different age groups, and in different areas of the country. Mortality data and population age distribution were provided by the National Statistical Service of Greece.

Results Overall, female breast cancer mortality in Greece had an increasing trend during 1980–2005. Subgroup analysis according to age showed that this increase was confined to women older than 70 years. In contrast, a mild decrease was noted after the mid-1990s in women 40–69 years old. There were no notable regional differences in breast cancer mortality.

Conclusions The increasing trend of breast cancer mortality in women aged 70 years and older could be attributed to limited use of secondary prevention methods and rare administration of systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy in these women. In contrast, implementation of these strategies could explain the recent reduction of breast cancer mortality in younger age groups.

  • Breast cancer
  • mortality
  • time trends
  • prevention
  • breast tumours
  • epidemiology

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.