According to Health Ministry data, 427 women in Costa Rica died as a result of breast cancer in 2020.
The disease remains the top cause of cancer-related deaths among Costa Rican women.
Deaths from this cause have been on a steady rise over recent years. In 2018, Costa Rica registered 349 such deaths, followed by 372 in 2019 and 427 last year. The 2020 figure represented 16% of all female deaths from cancer registered in the country.
Some 56% of deaths from breast cancer registered in 2020 were in the age group of 30-69 years, classified as premature mortality.
The province with the highest mortality rate from breast cancer was Heredia, reaching 20 deaths per 100,000 women, followed by San José with 19 deaths and Alajuela with 15 per 100,000 women.
The Health Ministry recommends self-examination every month and mammograms every two years among women ages 40 and older.
A worldwide issue
Breast cancer is the leading cancer type in females in most countries in the world, per Cancer.org. About 5% of females will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, although this number varies significantly by country.
In 2016, Health Ministry data indicated that, on average, 1,100 women in Costa Rica are diagnosed with breast cancer and some 250 of them die each year. These figures were the highest in Central America and fourth in Latin America.