Breast Cancer Facts & Statistics
- A woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life.
- In 2014, there are expected to be over 232,000 cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in the United States.
- Approximately 40,000 women will die because of breast cancer in the United States in 2014.
- Men are not safe from breast cancer either and there are expected to be 2,300-plus new cases of breast cancer in men diagnosed in 2014.
- Only skin cancer is more commonly diagnosed in women than breast cancer. It is also the second most common form of cancer behind prostate cancer.
- Breast cancer incidence rates began falling from the year 2000 after steadily rising in the previous decades. In 2002, a recommendation to reduce the level of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) used by women resulted in a 7% fall in breast cancer from 2002 to 2003. This suggests a link between HRT and increased rates of breast cancer.
Survival & Death Rates
- The relative five-year survival rate for those diagnosed with breast cancer (when compared to people who do not have cancer) is around 89%.
- Localized cancer (confined to one site) patients have a five-year survival rate of over 98%.
- When the cancer spreads to regional lymph nodes, this rate falls to 84%.
- The rate falls dramatically to 25% when the cancer has metastasized.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
Factors that Increase Risk
- Age is the biggest risk; women are more likely to get breast cancer as they get older.
- Inherited changes in genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA 2, increases the risk of getting breast cancer; though genetic changes, such as this, account for only 10% of all cases.
- If a woman’s daughter, mother, or sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer, her risk increases. This is especially the case if her family members were diagnosed before the age of 50.
- There are 2.8 million women in the United States that have a history of breast cancer. This includes women who have finished treatment.
- Women who have had radiation therapy before the age of 30 are more likely to get breast cancer.
- Those who have been physically inactive throughout their lives are at greater risk.
- Women are more likely to develop breast cancer if they drink excess levels of alcohol.
- Race is another factor; white women are the most likely to develop breast cancer. However, in women under the age of 45, African-American women are more likely to develop breast cancer than white women.
Breast Cancer by Age
A SEER report shows that women are more likely to get breast cancer as they get older and these statistics highlight the probability of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in the next 10 years by age:
- Age 30 – 0.44%
- Age 40 – 1.47%
- Age 50 – 2.38%
- Age 60 – 3.56%
- Age 70 – 3.82%
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