Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer for women in Cyprus, with almost a third of them affected by the disease getting breast cancer, the health ministry’s latest data showed on Wednesday.

The health ministry said 33.4 per cent of women that get cancer have breast cancer in Cyprus.

On World Breast Cancer Prevention Day, the ministry said that in 2022, a total of 17,214 mammograms were performed in all districts compared to 13,724 in 2021, marking an increase of 25.4 per cent. In the first half of 2023, 12,321 mammograms were performed compared to 7,715 mammograms performed in the first half of 2022, which translates to an increase of 60 per cent.

The ministry said that during the last 20 years, the total number of breast cancer cases was 10,485 across Cyprus. Of those from 2004-2021, 9,391 women died from cancer, of which 1,951 had been breast cancer.

The ministry said that it is important to have timely diagnosis of the disease to receive the best treatment possible.

The ministry added that the national cancer strategy focuses on five main pillars related to prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, psychosocial support, reintegration of patients including palliative care and recording of the cases.

The health ministry has been implementing the pre-symptomatic screening programme for the detection of breast cancer for 21 years. In collaboration with the National Cancer Commission and in accordance with European recommendations, it has already extended the age limit for participation in the programme from 50 to 69 years to 45 to 74 years.

According to the ministry, mammogram centres operate all over Cyprus.