Iceland With Highest Mortality Rate For Breast Cancer - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland With Highest Mortality Rate For Breast Cancer

Published February 1, 2018

Alice Demurtas
Photos by
Art Bicnick

According to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Iceland has the highest mortality rate among breast cancer patients in the entire OECD area.

Members of the OECD include countries from all over the world, from Italy, Japan and New Zealand to Turkey, The US and Israel. In their latest “Health at Glance 2017” report, the organisation reviews the healthcare systems and services provided by the member countries. The collective data about the Icelandic healthcare system usually fits in the average bracket registered by the organisation. However, RÚV reports that the country scores way below average in certain fields.

Odd Data

Iceland is for instance well below average when it comes to vaccinating children under one-year of age, especially for the measles. Iceland also does not require parents to vaccinate children against hepatitis B.

The mortality among breast cancer patients have increased 10% between 2005 and 2015—a percentage that is only higher than that of Ireland, Hungary, Denmark and The Netherlands. Comparatively, many other countries have seen their cancer mortality rate go down because of the implementation of regular check-ups and campaigns encouraging prevention.

A silver lining

On the bright side, the report also disclosed that Icelandic man have the longest lifespan of all, that Icelandic children under 15 years old smoke the least and finally that Iceland is among the countries that employ the highest number of nurses and nursing assistants.

Clearly the entire Icelandic healthcare system isn’t just about to implode, but the eye opening OECD report prompted many an Icelandic doctor to encourage authorities to rethink the organisation of the system and its future development.

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