Sweden opens national breast cancer study

Over the next two to three years, 100,000 Swedish women will be recruited for a new national study of breast cancer led by a professor at Solna's Karolinska Institute.

Sweden opens national breast cancer study

Per Hall, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Solna, will lead the Karma (Karolinska mammogram project for identifying risk factors for breast cancer, Karolinskas mammografiprojektet för identifiering av riskfaktorer för bröstcancer) study.

The study will be conducted in collaboration with Lund University in southern Sweden and will continue over 10 years. In addition to Karolinska, data will be collected from Helsingborg General Hospital and Stockholm South General Hospital, newspaper Helsingborgs Dagblad (HD) wrote on Thursday.

The aim is to try to find women who may be affected by breast cancer and to find out whether it is possible to prevent the disease.

“It has been so frustrating to not have had the time and opportunity to get the answers to the questions about which women will get breast cancer,” Hall told HD.

The study received a list of women between the ages of 40 to 74 who are regularly called in for a mammogram and have invited them to participate in the research, the report said.

Candidates must complete a questionnaire on lifestyle and family history. In conjunction with mammography, they must also take a blood test. Women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer in the past are also invited to participate in the study, the report said.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. About 7,000 Swedish women are diagnosed every year. However, the question of prevention is not prioritised in research, something Hall said he wants to change.

A 50 million kronor ($7.72 million) donation from Märit and Hans Rausing, the British-based Tetra Pak packaging heir, has made the research possible.

The Swedish Research Council has contributed another 15 million kronor and the project has received an additional 10 million kronor from the EU.

Undertaking 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers, according to the new Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, World Cancer Day.

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