Breast Cancer in Europe: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, Policies and Strategies. A Literature Review

  •  Bashaier Abdullah Aljohar    
  •  Mohammed Ahmedhani Kilani    


INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in European women, accounting for 28.8% of the total number of cancer diagnosis in Europe. Over the past few decades, several factors have led to remarkable improvements in overall breast cancer outcomes in Europe, such as early detection, screening, and progresses in treatment. However, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in females in Europe, yet more there is an increase in the incidence and mortality rates in some European countries. This research summarizes the current status of breast cancer in Europe, including epidemiology, risk factors, policies, and strategies. The results can help to better identify this health problem, which could help in developing better breast cancer control or prevention strategies and policies.

METHODS: A literature review was conducted using five electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, ProQuest, Eurostat, BioMed) and the European Commission reports for studies that reported on epidemiology and risk factors of breast cancer, or policies and strategies that target it in Europe. In addition, the Social Ecological Model (SEM) was used in categorizing the breast cancer risk factors into different levels.

RESULTS: Europe and North America have the highest rate of breast cancer globally. Incidence and prevalence of breast cancer vary across Europe, and so does its mortality rates. Breast cancer was found to be associated with a number of risk factors, including but not limited to aging, use of hormone therapy, older age at the first birth, and smoking which are common in Europe. Cancer in general, and breast cancer have attracted specific attention, and the European Union has focused many of the resources and expertise on the topic.

CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATIONS: Breast cancer remains a major public health issue in Europe, despite the efforts and actions being taken. Therefore, current efforts against breast cancer in Europe need to be revisited and improved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.