The problem with breast cancer in Bulgaria

According to data from Bulgarian National Cancer Registry  (BNCR), breast cancer is the most common oncological disease in Bulgaria. Since 2012 every year in Bulgaria have been diagnosed between 3500 and 4000 new cases. In the last years number of the registered cases is decreasing. From one side this  is due to lack of data in the Registry from many hospitals, but mostly it is because the Bulgarian  population is decreasing, which was seen in the last caunt of Population in 2021. Despite of the high number of oncological cases in the recent years and the demographic crisis there is also a problem with suboptimal or missing registration.

Bulgaria is the only country on the Balkans which has a National Cancer Registry.

Source: https://www.encr.eu/

Therefore if the registration of oncological diseases in Bulgaria stops there will be no epidemiological data not only from Bulgaria, but on the Balkans as whole.

BNCR is sending data every year to the international agency for research on cancer https://gco.iarc.fr/ and the European information system https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ . From those sources it is obvious, that Bulgaria is not from the countries with the highest burden of breast cancer, but is on one of the last places in Europe according to the 5 year survival rate. Recent publications are also confirming those trends.

Trends in breast cancer by country and region. Five-year net survival rates in all adults (2000–2014). Source: CONCORD-3 study. Data is not available for Greece, Hungary, and Luxemburg.
Dafni U, Tsourti Z, Alatsathianos I. Breast Cancer Statistics in the European Union: Incidence and Survival across European Countries. Breast Care (Basel). 2019 Dec;14(6):344-353. doi: 10.1159/000503219. Epub 2019 Oct 8. PMID: 31933579; PMCID: PMC6940474.

Why we have those outcomes?

The truth is that only detailed analysis of all available data can give an answer.

Is the lack of national screening program in the basis of one late diagnosis?

Is the access or application of innovative technologies the reason?

Is it the lack of supportive care for patients with advanced disease?

This in what we are sure is the need of improvement in education of the medical specialists as well as of the patients so we can identify the problems together and together to start solving them!

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