Breast cancer is now the most common form of cancer worldwide

By Regence
February 22, 2021
Doctor working on a digital tablet

Breast cancer is more common than you may realize. According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer has passed lung cancer as the most diagnosed cancer in the world.

Although lung cancer remains the top cause for cancer-related deaths worldwide, an estimated 2.3 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed last year, representing nearly 12% of all cancer cases. The latest data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reinforces the importance of scheduling regular screenings, such as mammograms, for early detection.

Public health officials are concerned that some people may choose to delay screenings to avoid visiting health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. But delayed screenings may do more harm than good since it’s easier to treat breast cancer when it’s detected early.

“Women have their best chance of beating breast cancer when it’s diagnosed and treated early,” says Regence Executive Medical Director Dr. Amy Khan. “Contact your doctor if you notice a lump in your breast or underarm. Getting your preventive screening every one to two years is also important since many women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have any symptoms. Our health care providers are taking extra precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading – so get your mammogram.”

Most Regence health plans cover annual in-network preventive mammograms at 100 percent. Regence members can log in to to learn more about preventative care benefits, or by calling Regence Customer Service using the number on the back of their member ID card.