Over four of every five women treated for breast cancer survives for at least five years, the highest percentage in Europe.

The Health Ministry said on Thursday that the figure of 87 per cent was a message of hope for Maltese and Gozitan patients.

Health Minister Chris Fearne announced the percentage during a meeting with the multidisciplinary team that discusses the 40 average new cases of cancer each week.

There is almost one new case a day in Malta, with most occuring in women aged between 50 and 69.

The minister said that the screening programme – which currently covers women aged between 50 and 67 – would be extended so that mammograms would be done every two – rather than three – years.

Since 2009, over 80,000 mammograms have been carried out.

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