UK & World News
'Critical Gaps' In Breast Cancer Research
More than 180,000 women could die by 2030 unless urgent action is taken to fill critical gaps in breast cancer research, a report has warned.
The review, which coincides with the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, identifies 10 areas where work is most needed.
It comes as a poll of 1,000 women from across the UK found almost half (45%) do not regularly check their breasts for possible cancerous tumours.
Fewer than one in 10 (9%) felt "very confident" they would notice a change, according to the survey by Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Eluned Hughes, the charity's head of public health, said: "It's shocking that despite being the most common cancer in the UK, nearly half of British women do not check their breasts regularly, and nearly all of them still cannot think of five common signs and symptoms of breast cancer without prompting.
"We know that early diagnosis saves lives, so it's incredibly important women know what to look for, and more, that they remember to look."
Among the gaps identified in the report is the need for a better understanding of how the disease can be prevented through diet and lifestyle, as well as further research into how genetic changes lead to cancer.
Collecting tissue samples could also help researchers understand what happens when cancer begins to spread.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, which commissioned the report, said: "If we don't act now, by 2030 more than 1.2 million women could be living with or after a breast cancer diagnosis and around 185,000 lives could have been lost to (the disease).
"We want future mothers, daughters and wives to have their breast cancer prevented, cured or for them to outlive the disease, and hope that together we can achieve this by 2050."
Breast Cancer Campaign has formed an action plan setting out how scientists, funding organisations and the Government can work together to address the gaps.
It aims to raise £100m over the next decade to address the problems.