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How Many Cases Of Breast Cancer Per Year

Interactive Statistics With Seer*explorer

200,000 people are affected by cases of lung cancer each year

With SEER*Explorer, you can…

  • Create custom graphs and tables

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Recent Facts And Figures: New Cases And Mortality Rates

The good news is that the mortality rate from breast cancer has progressively and steadily over the years.

However, the National Cancer Institute estimates that around 252,710 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 in the US. In addition, in 2017 it is estimated that around 40,610 American women will die of breast cancer.

Between the years 2007 and 2013, the 5-year survival rate after a breast cancer diagnosis was 89.7%. .

Recent statistics show that between the years 2010 and 2014 there were 124.9 new cases of breast cancer. In comparison to this, there were 21.2 deaths.

The Surveillance Epidemiology And End Results Program

NCIs Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program collects and publishes cancer incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries that cover approximately 35% of the US population. The SEER program website has more detailed cancer statistics, including population statistics for common types of cancer, customizable graphs and tables, and interactive tools.

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer provides an annual update of cancer incidence, mortality, and trends in the United States. This report is jointly authored by experts from NCI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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Causes & Risk Factors

  • Ionizing radiationincluding exposure from x-rays and CAT scansis an established environmental risk factor for breast cancer. Many risk factors for breast cancer are related to exposure to estrogen and other hormones that play a role in a womans menstrual cycle. These risk factors include early menarche, late menopause, having children late in life, never having children, and never breastfeeding. Pharmaceutical hormones, such as HRT and DES, and behaviors that affect hormone levelssuch as alcohol use and exercisealso affect risk. Women are at much higher risk than men, and the risk increases with age. Inherited genes, family history, and socioeconomic status are all associated with breast cancer risk.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease.
  • High-risk mutations in the breast cancer genes inherited from ones mother or father only account for about 5-10% of breast cancers.
  • In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an update of the Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory which found there are 86,228 chemicals currently registered for commercial use in the United States.

How Common Is Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer by Country: Rates for Canada, UK, USA and Asia

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It is about 30% of all new female cancers each year.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2021 are:

  • About 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 49,290 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed.
  • About 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.

Breast cancer mainly occurs in middle-aged and older women. The median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is 62. This means half of the women who developed breast cancer are 62 years of age or younger when they are diagnosed. A very small number of women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 45.

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It Was Estimated That In :

  • 118,200 Canadian men would be diagnosed with cancer and 44,600 men would die from cancer.
  • 110,900 Canadian women would be diagnosed with cancer and 40,000 women would die from cancer.
  • On average, 628 Canadians would be diagnosed with cancer every day.
  • On average, 232 Canadians would die from cancer every day.
  • Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer in Canada .
  • These 4 cancers account for 46% of all new cancer cases.
  • Prostate cancer accounts for one-fifth of all new cancer cases in men.
  • Lung cancer accounts for 13% of all new cases of cancer.
  • Breast cancer accounts for one-quarter of all new cancer cases in women
  • Colorectal cancer accounts for 11% of all new cancer cases

Fact : There Is Worldwide Evidence For A Link Between Induced Abortion And Breast Cancer

Even the Susan G. Komen Foundation does now recognize that birth control pill use is a risk factor for breast cancer. Regardless, Komen and the ACS still deny that abortion is also a risk factor for breast cancer . In their meta-analysis of the ABC issue, Brind et al. noted, Experimental evidence of a causal association between induced abortion and breast cancer in rodents was presented by Russo and Russo in 1980 .

Additionally, there has been a recent and remarkable increase in the evidence for an ABC link, especially from non-Western countries.

  • Bangladesh A recent casecontrol report from the Dhaka Medical College employed a multivariate analysis. Women in Bangladesh are reported to have very traditional reproductive patterns, as Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College, City University of New York, explained, Almost all the women are married and with child by the time they are 20, and all of the kids are breastfed. Ninety percent had their first child at age 21 or younger . They typically neither take contraceptive steroids nor have any abortions. Nulliparty or abortion before first full-term pregnancy in a population in which breast cancer is almost unheard of, makes the relative risk very high .

China A more recent study from Northeast China found a family history of breast cancer and induced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, breastfeeding protected parous women from any subtype of breast cancer .

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Global Breast Cancer Mortality Rates

In 2011 over 508,000 women died of breast cancer worldwide according to the World Health Organization .

Although breast cancer is often associated with the developed world almost half of all breast cancer cases and 58% of deaths occur in less developed countries.

In 2012 the top 20 countries for breast cancer survival rates are in the table below taken from World Cancer Research Fund International . The ranking of the countries is based upon the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer who were alive 5 years later. Figures are based on breast cancer survivors per 100,000 adult women.

Facts About Lifestyle And Breast Cancer

New study shows how many women over 40 develop breast cancer

sedentary lifestyle, weight gain and obesity and sociological changes

Physical activity and weight

Excess body weight and physical inactivity account for approximately 2533% of breast cancer cases.6

There is an inverse relationship between obesity and breast cancer in pre-menopausal women and a direct relationship in post-menopausal women.5

Inactivity> is estimated to cause 10-16% of all breast cancer cases.7

The effect of weight loss is independent of physical activity. 7

Reproductive factors

Having children at a younger age , having several children, and breast-feeding for long periods of time reduces breast cancer risk.5

Having first menstruation prior to 12 years old and/or menopause after age 55 increases the probability of developing breast cancer.12 For each year in delay of menarche the risk decreases by about 15% and for each year of delay of menopause it increases about 3%.5,13

Alcohol consumption

Meta analyses show that breast cancer risk increases by around 7-12% per unit of alcohol per day.8,9,10 Light drinkers, up to one alcoholic drink per day have a 5% higher breast cancer risk compared with non drinkers.11

Menopausal therapy and use of contraceptives

There is a very clear connection between hormone replacement therapy and the risk of developing breast cancer.14, 15 In the Million Women Study, current users of HRT at recruitment were more likely than never users to develop breast cancer .16 Breast cancer risk increases the longer HRT is taken.14, 15

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Percent Of Breast Cancer Deaths By Age

According to the SEER statistics, between the years 2010 and 2014, the average age of diagnosis of breast cancer was 62 years. Furthermore, breast cancer in women is most often diagnosed between the ages of 55 and 64 years.

From the same statistics, the per cent of women who die from breast cancer is also highest between the ages of 55 and 64. The average age of death from breast cancer for women is a little higher at 68 years.

Fact : Oral Contraceptives Are An Established Risk Factor For Breast Cancer

Evidence for an estrogenbreast cancer link was published in a New England Journal of Medicine review, Estrogen Carcinogenesis in Breast Cancer . Estrogen levels are 1050 times higher in breast tissue than in blood, and are higher yet in cancerous tissue than normal tissue. Yager and Davidson stated that, The strongest evidence for the role of estrogen in breast cancer has emerged from the experience with the anti-estrogenic chemotherapy drug, tamoxifen, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer by 38 percent in the cancer-free breast .

OCs are known to accelerate cell division in girls and young women who take them before their FFTP. A Mayo Clinic Proceedings meta-analysis by Kahlenborn et al. demonstrated a 52 percent increase in the risk of premenopausal breast cancer among parous women who used OCs four or more years before their FFTP . In an accompanying editorial Cerhan noted, that a higher risk of breast cancer for OC use before first full-term pregnancy was first described more than 25 years ago . In other words, this overview finding by Kahlenborn et al. was not an outlier, but reflected a long-standing, even if seldom discussed, scientific understanding.

What was the media’s response to this study with its troubling finding linking OCs and breast cancer? According to Dennis Byrne of the Chicago Tribune, their main response has been silence .

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New Cases And Mortality Rates: Trends

As we can see from our above line graph showing breast cancer trends over the years, the death rate from breast cancer has steadily .

However, since 2007 the death rates in younger women have remained stable, whilst for older women, they have continued to further.

For a full analysis of breast cancer incidence rates and a more in-depth look at the trends please see our new post here.

Recent studies suggest the periodic rise in new incidences combined with the steady decline of breast cancer deaths reflect the increase of screening mammography, better understanding of tumor biology and improvements in treatment.

One of the most important prognostic factors is the stage of cancer at diagnosis. Hence, the widespread adoption of screening mammography led to breast cancers being detected at an earlier stage when treatment is effective. Furthermore, advances in treatment have added to the decline in mortality rates.

Fact : The Breast Cancer Epidemic Is A Relatively Recent Occurrence

Infographic Archive

There is now substantial evidence that there is an alarming increase in the incidence of breast cancer. Only four decades ago, there was much less concern regarding the rate of new cases.

The concern about breast cancer was at low ebb and had been so for approximately the first seventy years of the twentieth century. Breast cancer merited a mere two paragraphs in a 1973 American Cancer Society overview, as this update focused on other more noteworthy cancers . The American Cancer Society reported in 1973, In women less than 65 years of age, the breast cancer death rate has shown little fluctuation and is almost unchanged since 1914 .

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What Is The Effect Of Mammography Screening

Following the introduction of the mammography screening programme in Germany for women between the ages of 50 and 69 years , diagnosis rates in the corresponding age group initially rose sharply. Since 2009, however, they have been declining continuously and in 2016 were only slightly higher than before the screening programme. A recent publication shows that, in the screening age group, about 25 percent fewer women are diagnosed with advanced tumours than before the introduction of screening. Mammography screening also appears to have had an impact on breast cancer mortality: since around 2008 the mortality rate has developed much more favourably in the screening age group than in women under 50 or over 70.

Estimated age-standardised incidence rates of breast cancer in women eligible for mammography screening and other age groups , Germany 1999 – 2016, per 100,000

Progress in therapy has substantially improved the survival chances of people diagnosed with breast cancer, and this has led to a decrease in mortality rates as well. Within a few years time, it should be possible to assess the extent to which screening has brought about a further reduction.

Incidence Rates And The Number Of New Cases

To know whether or not breast cancer rates are changing over time, you have to compare rates, rather than the number of new cases.

For example, lets compare the number of new cases of breast cancer in U.S. in 2009 to the number of new cases in 2016. In 2009, there were an estimated 192,370 new cases of breast cancer in U.S. women . In 2016, there were an estimated 246,660 new cases .

Although more breast cancer cases occurred in 2016 than in 2009, this doesnt mean the rate of breast cancer increased over this time period.

We expect the number of cases to increase over time because the population of the U.S. increases over time . The more people there are, the more cancers there will be.

Our population is also living longer . Since age increases the risk of breast cancer, we expect to have more breast cancers over time.

To know if breast cancer rates are changing over time, we look at incidence rates, rather than the number of new cases. The incidence rate shows the number of breast cancer cases in a set population size. Its usually written as the number of cases in a population of 100,000 people.

The breast cancer incidence rate among women in 2009 was 131 and the estimated breast cancer incidence rate in 2016 was also 131 . This means there were 131 breast cancer cases per 100,000 women in the U.S. population in both time periods.

So, although the number of breast cancer cases increased over time, breast cancer rates were fairly stable.

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Trends In Breast Cancer Deaths

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 39 .

Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women. From 2013 to 2018, the death rate went down by 1% per year.

These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.

Breast Cancer Mortality Rates Worldwide

Alarm as cancer cases increase to 40,000 per year

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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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

Reducing The Cancer Burden

Between 30 and 50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies. The cancer burden can also be reduced through early detection of cancer and appropriate treatment and care of patients who develop cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated appropriately.

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Links To Related Statistics

Other statistics related to cancer are available:

Cancer incidence statistics across the UK can be accessed from the following individual cancer registries:

PHE, the ONS and the cancer registries are members of the UK and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries , which aims to promote and develop cancer registration in England, Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The UKIACR specifically provides a:

UK-wide statistics on cancer incidence can also be accessed through Cancer Research UK.

  • the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data
  • uses and users of the data
  • how the output was created
  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data


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