Bahamas Has World’s Highest Rate of Inherited Breast Cancer

Friday 06th, May 2011 / 09:50 Published by

The Bahamas has the highest incidence of inherited breast cancer in the world and the average age of women at the time they are diagnosed with the disease is lower than that of women in the United States, research conducted by Dr. Judith Hurley has shown.

Hurley was one of four doctors who addressed attendees at a seminar hosted by the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama on Tuesday evening, and shared her findings.

Hurley compared statistics with women in the United States, and noted that the average age of a woman in that country with breast cancer is 62, while in The Bahamas it is 42.

Hurley said she also examined how advanced the cancer was at the time the women were diagnosed. She noted that while stage one cancer is considered “very curable,” and stage two is “sort of curable,” stage three is “not very curable” and stage four is not considered curable at all.

She also pointed out that 43 percent of the women who die from breast cancer in The Bahamas are under the age of 50 at the time of their death.

Hurley traveled to The Bahamas where she tested women from 193 families. The incidence of inherited breast cancer in The Bahamas, she found, was 23 percent of all the women that were tested.

In the United States, inherited breast cancer is found in about three to five percent of women, she said.

The Bahamas’ figure was also twice as high as the highest reported rate in high risk groups around the world, she noted.


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