Basic Information About Breast Cancer
Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. Deaths from breast cancer have declined over time, but breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women overall and the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanic women.
Each year in the United States, about 264,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,400 in men. About 42,000 women and 500 men in the U.S. die each year from breast cancer. Black women have a higher rate of death from breast cancer than White women.
Mortality By Sex And Cancer Type
In 2016, 29,074 people died from cancer in Ontario, for an age-standardized mortality rate of 190.0 per 100,000 .
The 4 most commonly diagnosed cancers were responsible for almost 50% of all cancer deaths in 2016.
The 4 most commonly diagnosed cancers were responsible for almost 50% of all cancer deaths in 2016. Lung, colorectal and prostate cancers accounted for 44% of all male cancer deaths, while lung, breast and colorectal cancers accounted for 49% of all female cancer deaths .
Analysis by: Surveillance, Analytics and Informatics, Ontario Health Data source: Ontario Cancer Registry , Ontario Health
Some of the less commonly diagnosed cancers made a relatively large contribution to mortality because of their poor prognosis. For example, pancreatic cancer accounted for 6.5% of all cancer deaths in 2016 more than prostate cancer and almost as much as breast cancer .
The highest ASMR for cancers occurring in both sexes combined were for lung , colorectal and pancreatic cancers.
The ASMR for all cancers combined was significantly higher for males than females . Among males, the highest ASMR was for lung , followed by colorectal and prostate cancers. For females, the highest ASMR was for lung , followed by breast and colorectal cancers.
Males had a consistently higher mortality rate than females for each type of cancer except thyroid. Thyroid cancer mortality rates were the same for both sexes.
The greatest differences between male and female mortality rates were seen in:
Breast Cancer Mortality Rates Worldwide
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality among women in most countries in the world .
Its estimated more than 680,000 breast cancer deaths occurred worldwide in 2020 .
Rates of breast cancer mortality vary around the world
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer mortality among women in developing countries .
Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer mortality among women in developed countries .
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Breast Cancer Diagnosed During Or After Pregnancy
Being pregnant at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer has been associated with a worse outcome. In one study of 797 such cases, compared with 4,177 non-pregnancy-associated breast cancer controls, women diagnosed while pregnant had larger, more advanced tumors, a greater incidence of receptor-negative tumors, and a higher death rate . A smaller study found no association between pregnancy and increased mortality. In contrast, pregnancy and childbirth following a diagnosis of breast cancer do not increase mortality, and actually may improve survival. One study found that 438 women age < 45 years at diagnosis, who delivered a child 10 or more months following a diagnosis of breast cancer, had a decreased relative risk of death , compared to women who did not bear children following diagnosis. Women who were pregnant at the time they were diagnosed had a mortality rate similar to the latter group. This suggests that childbirth following breast cancer diagnosis does not increase mortality.
Clinical Data And Tumor Characteristics
The surgeon identifying the cases and constructing the database also collected data regarding date of diagnosis, menopausal status, height, weight, parity, laterality, tumor location, and distant metastases through medical records and the Swedish Cancer Registry. Information concerning tumor size, histological type, and ALNI was retrieved from histopathological examinations. Tumor type was classified using a modification of the World Health Organization classification as proposed by Linell et al. . ALNI was divided into positive, negative, or unknown if no axillary dissection had been performed.
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Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage And Age
The relative 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 92%. This means that those who have breast cancer are, on average, 92% as likely as those who dont have the disease to live for at least 5 years after their diagnosis. The survival rate is an estimate across the population, and an individuals chance of survival is dependent on their specific characteristics and the nature of the tumour, such as the stage of the breast cancer at diagnosis, the age, gender and the subtype of the breast cancer .
The 5-year survival rate for Stage 1 breast cancer is, on average, 100% and Stage 2 is 95%. For locally advanced cancers the survival rate is 81%, while the 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 is significantly lower at 32%.
The 5-year survival rate also differs depending on the age group. For those aged over 85, the 5-year survival rate is 75%, while for those between 40 and 44 years of age it is 93%.
While the 5-year survival rate post-diagnosis is 92%, the survival rate 10 years after diagnosis of breast cancer is 86%.
Can Breast Cancer In Younger Women Be Prevented
For women with a family history that is suggestive of a hereditary predisposition for breast cancer, a referral for genetic counseling may be appropriate. Identifying such genetic conditions will allow for a more personalized discussion on screening and preventive treatment options. For example, screening in BRCA mutation carriers begins at the age of 25.
Measures that all women can take to reduce breast cancer risk include:
- Achieving and maintaining ideal body weight
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Getting regular exercise
That being said, if breast cancer does develop, early detection and prompt treatment can significantly increase a womans chances of survival. More than 90% of women whose breast cancer is found in an early stage will survive.
Young women should be counseled on breast awareness and to report any breast changes to their healthcare provider. These changes can include:
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Latest Breast Cancer Data
Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in women and the most common cancer overall. There were more than 2.26 million new cases of breast cancer in women in 2020.
The 10 countries with the highest rates of breast cancer in women and the highest number of deaths from breast cancer in women in 2020 are shown in the tables below.
ASR = age-standardised rates. These are a summary measure of the rate of disease that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardisation is necessary when comparing populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of dying from cancer.
Us Cancer Statistics Data Visualizations Tool
The Data Visualizations tool makes it easy for anyone to explore and use the latest official federal government cancer data from United States Cancer Statistics. It includes the latest cancer data covering the U.S. population.
See how the rates of new breast cancers or breast cancer deaths changed over time for the entire United States and individual states.Links with this icon indicate that you are leaving the CDC website.
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Mortality Trends By Cancer Type
The cancer mortality rate for all cancers combined in Ontario has been decreasing over the past few decades, with the decline accelerating in recent years. Between 1985 and 2001, the age-standardized mortality rate decreased by 0.5% per year and fell a further 1.6% per year between 2001 and 2016 .
Generally, the declines in mortality have been greater for males than females. For males, the mortality rate declined by 1.0% per year between 1988 and 2002, and then by 1.9% per year between 2002 and 2016. For females, the rate declined by 0.3% per year between 1985 and 2002, and then declined by 1.4% per year between 2002 and 2016. The following section examines some of the reasons for these changes.
Health Disparities In Young African Americans
In addition to these unique issues, research has shown that young African American women face even greater challenges.
- African American women under age 35 have rates of breast cancer two times higher than caucasian women under age 35.14
- African Americans under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.14
- Researchers believe that access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare available may explain these disparities. But scientists continue to investigate.
- Research also shows that young African Americans are more likely to get aggressive forms of breast cancer than anyone else.14
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Survival Rates By Stage
Breast cancer survival rates compare the number of women with breast cancer to the number of women in the overall population to estimate the amount of time women with breast cancer are likely to live after theyre diagnosed.
For example, if the survival rate for a stage of breast cancer during a 5-year period is 90 percent, it means that women diagnosed with that cancer are 90 percent as likely to survive for 5 years following their diagnosis as women who do not have the cancer.
As we mentioned earlier, survival rates are based on information from the SEER database, which the NCI maintains.
SEER does not group breast cancers by stages 0 through 4. Instead, it groups them by the following stages:
- localized: when the cancer has not spread outside of the breast
- regional: when its spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes
- distant: when its spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones
It should be noted that theres a substantial racial disparity gap in survival rates between white women and Women of Color, especially for late-stage breast cancer diagnoses. The chart below, courtesy of the
Estimated Number Of Deaths In The Us From Breast Cancer
The above bar chart shows the estimated number of female deaths from breast cancer, according to age group, in 2017.
These estimated figures are from the American Cancer Society based on data gathered between 2000 and 2014 from the National Center for Health Statistics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Due to the statistical methods involved to obtain the projected mortality estimates, this graph should not be compared with other mortality rates.
Metastatic Breast Cancer At Diagnosis
Most often, metastatic breast cancer arises months or years after a person has completed treatment for early or locally advanced breast cancer.
Some people have metastatic breast cancer when they are first diagnosed. This is called de novo metastatic breast cancer. In the U.S., 9 percent of men have metastases when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer .
Learn more about metastatic breast cancer.
Lifetime Risk Of Breast Cancer Worldwide
Women who live in developed countries tend to have a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer than women who live in developing countries .
Although we dont know all the reasons for these differences, lifestyle and reproductive factors likely play a large role .
Low screening mammography rates and incomplete reporting can make rates of breast cancer in developing countries look lower than they truly are and may also explain some of these differences.
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Breast Cancer Statistics In Young Adults
Although breast cancer in young adults is rare, more than 250,000 living in the United States today were diagnosed under age 40. In young adults, breast cancer tends to be diagnosed in its later stages. It also tends to be more aggressive. Young adults have a higher mortality rate. As well as a higher risk of metastatic recurrence .
Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Survival Rates Over The Last 27 Years
The incidence of breast cancer has risen dramatically over the last 27 years, rising from about 9,827 new cases a year in 1994, to over 20,000 new cases a year in 2021. As a result, 1 in 7 women will now be diagnosed in their lifetime.
From NBCFs inception in 1994, five-year relative survival for breast cancer improved from 76% to 91%. This improvement is a result of research. But despite the improved survival rate, this year around 9 Australians will lose their lives to breast cancer every day. In 2021, there was over 3,000 deaths from breast cancer, including 36 males and 3,102 females.
Unfortunately, despite improved survival rates, the number of deaths from breast cancer each year is still rising. This is being driven by the increase in diagnoses.
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What Is The Average American Womans Risk Of Being Diagnosed With Breast Cancer At Different Ages
Many women are more interested in the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at specific ages or over specific time periods than in the risk of being diagnosed at some point during their lifetime. Estimates by decade of life are also less affected by changes in incidence and mortality rates than longer-term estimates. The SEER report estimates the risk of developing breast cancer in 10-year age intervals . According to the current report, the risk that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer during the next 10 years, starting at the following ages, is as follows:
- Age 30 . . . . . . 0.49%
- Age 40 . . . . . . 1.55%
- Age 50 . . . . . . 2.40%
- Age 60 . . . . . . 3.54%
- Age 70 . . . . . . 4.09%
These risks are averages for the whole population. An individual womans breast cancer risk may be higher or lower depending on known factors, as well as on factors that are not yet fully understood. To calculate an individual womans estimated breast cancer risk, health professionals can use the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, which takes into account several known breast cancer risk factors.
A Family History Of Breast Cancer
Having someone in your family with breast cancer doesnt automatically mean your own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk.
However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.
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Cure Versus Progression Delay: Models
For the following hypothetical scenarios, we consider the basic model to recapitulate the survival experience of 45,647 ER-positive breast cancer patients diagnosed in the SEER database between 1990 and 1995 and then introduce two theoretical treatments. In this database, the actuarial 20-year breast cancer mortality was 72.4%. By simulation, we can evaluate how the effects of cytotoxic and cytostatic treatments are expected to influence the shape of the mortality curves. To illuminate the two models in terms of expected survival patterns, we have simulated cohorts of 91,294 women under the two scenarios.
The Social Dimension Of Age
Causal paradigms for cancer typically categorize age along with gender, race, and ethnicity as individual characteristics that are not amenable to intervention. Just as research has shown a lack of precision in various racial and ethnic categories, a great deal of heterogeneity can exist within any age category. In addition, the experience of age is subject to social and cultural influences. Although the challenges of examining differences by race and ethnicity without contributing to societal racism has been noted previously,,, the influence of stereotypes and prejudice based on age has received far less attention.,
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When To Start Screening
We recommend mammogram screening to start no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50 for women of average risk for breast cancer, and continue through to at least age 74, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Screening mammography should occur at least once every two years. For women whose screening mammograms show they have dense breasts, an extra testa breast ultrasoundis recommended.
Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says it is important to talk with a health care provider about when you should start getting mammograms, based on your unique health profile, and to make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any unusual breast changes.
Any time a woman feels a breast mass, which does not go away, while doing a breast self-exam at any age, she should get it checked out, says Dr. Silber.
More than half of the time, women detect breast cancers themselves when they notice an unusual breast change. Whenever there is a new mass or lump, tell your doctorit should be evaluated by a clinical physical examination followed by breast imaging, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Other signs to be aware of include asymmetry of the breasts and nipple changes such as discharge or peeling skin around the nipple.
Says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, These symptoms dont mean you have breast cancer, but its a reason to seek an opinion from a medical provider.