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Breast Cancer Facts & Statistics

Current facts and statistics highlight the need for an additional focus on breast cancer education.

Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012, representing about 25 percent of all cancers in women. When breast cancer occurrence is compared to other forms of cancer, aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. (3) Between 1989-2017, there was a total decline in the death rate by 40%. (4) With how frequently breast cancer occurs, it is so important to understand how it affects different populations.

Breast Cancer Occurrence & Mortality Based On Sex Assigned At Birth

  • 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. 1 in 39 women will die as a result of breast cancer. It is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women. (1)
  • 1 in 833 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. (1) Although men are less likely to develop breast cancer, men are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a more advanced stage than women, 51% versus 36%. (1)

Breast Cancer Occurrence & Mortality By Age

  • 94% of breast cancer diagnoses occur in women over 40 years old. (1)
  • The incidence rates of young breast cancer have been increasing over time.  
  • There are currently more than 3.9 million breast cancer survivors (including women still being treated) in the United States. (2)

Breast Cancer Occurrence By Race/Ethnicity

Source: NIH Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Programs, U.S. 2013-2017, Age-Adjusted

  • Before the age of 40, African-American women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women. (1)
  • African-American women have the greatest chance of all ethnicities to die of breast cancer. This is likely as a result of the more aggressive tumors common in African-American women, a higher rate of poverty, and later stage of detection. (1)
  • The incidence rate in men is higher for African-American men than other races and ethnicities. (1)

Don’t Become A Statistic

Reduce your chances of being diagnosed by educating yourself on the risk factors of breast cancer and taking action on the factors you have control of like smoking and obesity. Later stage detection and advanced tumor size decrease your odds of surviving breast cancer. Improve your odds of survival by practicing early detection. Do a monthly breast self-exam, a yearly clinical breast exam, and after 40 a yearly mammogram.