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Breast Cancer

Volume 80: debated on Tuesday 11 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the incidence and trend of breast cancer in women; and if he will make a statement.

Breast cancer is an important cause of death in women. There were 13,277 deaths (458–02 per million female population) from breast cancer in England and Wales in 1984, and 21,165 (830–84 per million female population) registrations reported to cancer registries in 1981. These are the latest years for which figures are available. There has been a small increase in breast cancer deaths and registrations over the last 10 years.We are already funding a large scale programme of research into the early detection of breast cancer. A recent study in Sweden has now suggested that a significant number of deaths might be avoided by the use of mammographic screening. We are establishing as quickly as possible an expert group to consider what our future policy on this subject should be in the light of the latest research findings.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the amount of grant provided by Her Majesty's Government to the Mastectomy Association and any other organisation concerned with coping with the effects of breast cancer in women for each of the past five years.

In addition to that made to the Mastectomy Association, we also make grants under section 64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968, to the women's national cancer control campaign, who are concerned with the prevention and early detection of breast cancer, and to Cancer Link who, among other activities, organise self-help groups and counselling for women with breast cancer. Details of the grants made for each of the past five years are as follows:number of diabetics in the United Kingdom, and, in particular, amongst ethnic minority communities; and whether he proposes any changes in these arrangements;(2) if he will estimate the number of diabetics in the United Kingdom

(a) generally and (b) amongst ethnic minority communities.

Studies have estimated that the prevalence of diabetes is between 1 and 2 per cent, of the population, between 500,000 and 1 million people in United Kingdom. An exercise to provide more precise estimates would be expensive and unlikely to be of significant practical benefit. We do not think special studies on the prevalence of diabetes among ethnic minorities are needed.