By Heather MacGibbon
Breast Cancer is the most feared disease that women face. However, long terms studies have recently show that it is no longer the number one killer of women that it once was.
“Heart disease was responsible for 28.6 percent of all deaths in U.S. women in 2002, the last year for which complete data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” [i] This is much higher then the 21 % of deaths by all cancers and only 4% by Breast Cancer in this study.
Advances in early detection and treatment options have made definite improvements over the past 10 years which have lead to better prognosis for women faced with breast cancer. By following the lives of over 60, 000 women over the age of 66 diagnosed with breast cancer over a twelve year period Researchers from the University of Colorado show that most have long lives and died of non cancer related illnesses.
“Almost half of the women were still alive at the end of the study. Of those who died, living on average to a respectable 83, more than two thirds died from causes other than breast cancer.”[ii] The biggest cause of death being cardiovascular disease.
This is partly because heart disease is am major problem for Americans due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. However it is also because a breast cancer diagnosis also can put women at a higher risk for heart disease.