Breast cancer death rates have fallen, according to a report by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

A review into the medical management of breast cancer, released by BMJ (British Medical Journal), revealed that mammographic screening, better surgical and radiotherapy techniques, and improved systematic therapies have contributed towards improved survival rates.

According to Breast Cancer Campaign, there are around 570,000 people currently living with breast cancer, and it remains the most prevalent form of cancer in the UK with around 12,000 women and 80 men dying from the disease every year.

However, while death rates have fallen, the BMJ review also revealed that the number of new incidences of breast cancer has increased during the last year.

A campaign, launched by charity Breast Cancer Campaign this month, highlights the importance of early diagnosis of breast cancer in helping to reduce the risk of a patient developing secondary breast cancer, for which there is no cure.

The aim of the ‘Spread the Word’ campaign is to gain support from decision makers and MPs and encourage them to commit to improving breast cancer services and treatments across the country.

Cathryn Davies, senior clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Cardiff office, said: “While breast cancer cases continue to rise in the UK, it is encouraging to learn that death rates are falling, highlighting the positive strides that have been made in the treatment of the disease.

“From our work with victims of clinical negligence, we are only too aware of the tragic repercussions that result from the misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. We have worked with clients whose symptoms were not properly investigated or treated by medical staff, leading to a far more serious prognosis, and in the worst cases, the death of a patient.

“The number of incidences of secondary breast cancer is too high, and it is vital that the treatment and diagnosis of patients happens quickly, thus increasing the chance of survival for patients.

“Breast Cancer’s ‘Spread the Word’ is a valuable campaign that we hope will further increase awareness and play a part in helping to reduce the breast cancer death rate here in the UK.”