But breast cancer still kills more than 90,000 people in the EU per year, and little is known or done for patients with advanced stages of the disease. Developing and implementing a clear policy response to metastatic breast cancer is crucial to reducing its death toll.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women worldwide, and the second most frequent form of cancer after lung cancer. Western Europe has the highest incidence of breast cancer in the world.
In 2014, 93,490 people died of breast cancer in Europe. Germany accounted for 16% of these deaths, followed by France, Italy and the UK (all around 12%).
Breast cancer occurs when in the breast tissue reproduces uncontrollably due to a mutation in the cells’ DNA. When mutated cells travel to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lungs, liver or brain, the cancer is classified as “metastatic” – the most advanced form of the disease.