Breast Cancer in New Zealand
Breast cancer affects one in nine Kiwi women during their life. Eight women, on average, will hear news today that they have breast cancer. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged 50 years or older.
While older women are more at risk, younger women get breast cancer too. Although it’s uncommon, men also get breast cancer. On average, 20 men are diagnosed in New Zealand every year. Some women are at greater risk of breast cancer because there is a history of close family members having the disease. However, most women who develop breast cancer have no close relatives with the disease.
Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Women with breast cancer are living longer than ever before, due to advances in cancer care. There have been significant improvements in breast cancer screening and treatment. Despite the progress made, many women are still being diagnosed at a late or ‘advanced’ stage. This is when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the brain and bones. When the disease is caught early, before it has spread to other parts of the body, breast cancer can be effectively treated.
Breast cancer type helps determine the most effective treatment
Contrary to common belief, breast cancer is not just one disease. Breast cancers are classified according to how the cancer cells look under the microscope and whether they contain certain proteins on their cell surface.
Knowing the type of breast cancer a patient has is important. Whilst some treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy may be similar across different types of breast cancer, treatments such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapies will differ between cancer types.
At Roche, we have been working for decades to push the boundaries of science. We have grown our understanding of breast cancer’s biology in search of new ways of tackling the disease. Our unwavering goal is to improve the lives of patients and to develop new treatments that increase the chance of cure.
If you would like more information about breast cancer and Roche’s targeted treatment options visit the Breast Cancer home page here.
Roche Products (New Zealand) Ltd. PO Box 109113, Newmarket, Auckland 1149 Ph: 0800 656 464 www.roche.co.nz ID2378/TAPS NA 8637.