Diverging trends in breast cancer mortality within Switzerland

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BackgroundSubstantial regional heterogeneity in the provision of cancer prevention and management services results from the decentralised Swiss healthcare system.Materials and methodsBreast cancer mortality trends between 1980 and 2002 were compared in two French- and in two German-speaking female populations of Switzerland, aged 55–74 years, characterised by different access to, and use of, mammography screening.ResultsSince the early 1990s, a 30% fall was observed in the French-speaking regions of Vaud and Geneva, where mammography screening is widespread, with no decline in the German-speaking areas of Basel and Zurich.ConclusionModification in breast cancer diagnosis and management in selected regions of Switzerland is urgently needed.

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