The Role Of Treatment And Management
Reductions in mortality before the introduction of screening, and in those countries without screening activity, indicate that several improvements in disease management might explain many of the observed declines in mortality . In the UK and Finland , the rapid decline in mortality rates shortly after implementation of screening programmes was probably due in part to an increased use of tamoxifen among postmenopausal women with node-positive disease. The Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Cooperative Group reported in a meta-analysis of 55 randomised adjuvant trials that tamoxifen reduced the incidence of contralateral breast cancers by 47% at 5 years . It is likely that the increasing use of this anti-oestrogen has contributed to decreases in mortality from breast cancer in women who are positive for oestrogen receptor in developed countries during the 1990s . However, it has been suggested that the absolute benefit is more modest , because most trials reported on oestrogen receptor-positive women with early disease, whereas about one-third of women are negative for the oestrogen receptor, and many women with breast cancer do not present with early stage disease.
A likely contributory factor to the decline, as noted in the UK, has been the establishment of treatment protocols, improved chemotherapeutic options and better therapeutic guidelines . Specific structural changes that have embraced specialisation of breast cancer care have been shown to improve outcome .
How Has The Risk Of Being Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Changed In Recent Years
For a woman born in the 1970s in the United States, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, based on breast cancer statistics from that time, was just under 10% .
The last five annual SEER Cancer Statistics Review reports show the following estimates of lifetime risk of breast cancer, all very close to a lifetime risk of 1 in 8:
- 12.83%, based on statistics for 2014 through 2016
- 12.44%, based on statistics for 2013 through 2015
- 12.41%, based on statistics for 2012 through 2014
- 12.43%, based on statistics for 2011 through 2013
- 12.32%, based on statistics for 2010 through 2012
SEER statisticians expect some variability from year to year. Slight changes may be explained by a variety of factors, including minor changes in risk factor levels in the population, slight changes in breast cancer screening rates, or just random variability inherent in the data.
Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. . SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 19752017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, , based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.
- Reviewed:December 16, 2020
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Breast Cancer Incidence By Age
Breast cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year around a quarter of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.
Age-specific incidence rates rise steadily from age 25-29, more steeply from age 35-39 in females and from age 60-64 in males. The highest rates are in in the 90+ age group for females and the 85 to 89 age group for males.
Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in most age groups. The gap is widest at age 30 to 34, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2066 times higher in females than males.
Breast cancer , Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Females, 2016-2018
For female breast cancer, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. There is a brief plateau shortly after age 50 when routine screening starts, reflecting the diagnosis of prevalent cases at first-time screening. The brief drop in incidence shortly after age 70 when routine screening ends may be a compensatory drop as screening has brought forward diagnoses in women in this age group incidence subsequently returns to the rates expected.
Breast cancer , Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Males, 2016-2018
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Does Fertility Treatment Affect The Risk Of Breast Or Other Cancers
Women who have difficulty becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term may receive fertility treatment. Such treatment can include surgery medications to stimulate ovulation and assisted reproductive technology.Ovarian stimulation and some assisted reproductive technologies involve treatments that temporarily change the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a womans body. For example, women undergoing in vitro fertilization receive multiple rounds of hormone treatment to first suppress ovulation until the developing eggs are ready, then stimulate development of multiple eggs, and finally promote maturation of the eggs. The use of hormones in some fertility treatments has raised concerns about possible increased risks of cancer, particularly cancers that are linked to elevated levels of these hormones.Many studies have examined possible associations between use of fertility drugs or IVF and the risks of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. The results of such studies can be hard to interpret because infertility itself is linked to increased risks of these cancers . Also, these cancers are relatively rare and tend to develop years after treatment for infertility, which can make it difficult to link their occurrence to past use of fertility drugs.
Colditz GA, Baer HJ, Tamimi RM. Breast cancer. In: Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni JF, editors. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Personal History Of Breast Disease
Females who have previously had breast cancer are at risk of developing a second breast cancer, either in the other breast or in a different part of the same breast. This is not the same as the first cancer returning.
Having a personal history of certain noncancerous breast conditions can also increase a persons risk of breast cancer. This can include conditions such as atypical hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, and ductal carcinoma in situ.
People with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer should ask their doctors about .
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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
CDCs Dr. Lisa Richardson explains the link between drinking alcoholic beverages and breast cancer risk in this video.
Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.
Some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Most women have some risk factors, but most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.
Does Pregnancy Affect The Risk Of Other Cancers
Research has shown the following with regard to pregnancy and the risk of other cancers:
- Women who have had a full-term pregnancy have reduced risks of ovarian and endometrial cancers. Furthermore, the risks of these cancers decline with each additional full-term pregnancy.
- Pregnancy also plays a role in an extremely rare type of tumor called a gestational trophoblastic tumor. In this type of tumor, which starts in the uterus, cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed following conception.
- There is some evidence that pregnancy-related factors may affect the risk of other cancer types, but these relationships have not been as well studied as those for breast and gynecologic cancers. The associations require further study to clarify the exact relationships.
As in the development of breast cancer, exposures to hormones are thought to explain the role of pregnancy in the development of ovarian, endometrial, and other cancers. Changes in the levels of hormones during pregnancy may contribute to the variation in risk of these tumors after pregnancy .
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Factors Influencing How Quickly Breast Cancer Tumors Grow
Several factors may influence how quickly breast cancer tumors grow. These factors include:
- Your age. People under 40 are likely to have more aggressive breast cancer.
- Menopause status. If you havent completed menopause, the hormones of menstruation may impact cancer growth.
- History of breast cancer. A family or personal history of this cancer may increase the risk of an aggressive type.
- The type of breast cancer. Some types are more aggressive than others.
- Hormone treatment. If you had hormone replacement therapy with menopause, the chances of an aggressive form of cancer are higher.
Menstrual And Reproductive History
The menstrual cycle increases levels of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone in the body.
Starting menstrual periods at a younger age or going through menopause at a later age raises the bodys exposure to these hormones, which can increase a persons risk of breast cancer.
Those who start their menstrual period before the
to prevent miscarriage. Women who took this drug while pregnant and any children they gave birth to have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
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Interactive Statistics With Seer*explorer
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.
Early Detection And Mammographic Screening
Mammographic screening for women aged 5069 years is effective in reducing breast cancer mortality, and reductions in mortality have been observed where screening has been introduced . Evidence that at least part of this decline can be attributed to screening comes from the expected increase in incidence of early stage and in situ breast cancers, followed by a decline in advanced cancer and subsequent mortality in the UK, northern Europe and Australia . It has been estimated that about one-third of the overall 21% reduction in breast cancer mortality in the UK by 1998 was due directly to screening , although the time lag before any benefits from screening can be expected , together with the reduction in mortality resulting from notable advances in treatment , makes quantification of the contribution of each problematic. One of the indirect beneficial effects of screening might have been a shift towards earlier diagnosis of breast cancer, as a result of the publicity surrounding the disease and its prevention.
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Dense Breast Tissue And Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer
For a woman, having dense breasts is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. Only age and BRCA gene status carry a higher risk than dense breast tissue according to a 2015 medical study.
The density of your breast tissue shows up on a mammogram. Basically, dense breast tissue is made up of more glandular and fibrous tissue than fatty tissue. The dense breast tissue shows up aswhite on mammograms, like that of tumors.
The amount of breast density is expressed by the radiographer as a percentage. For women under 56 years with breast cancer, having a breast density of over 50% was three times more likely than in older women.
The risks for breast cancer in women with over 50% of dense breast tissue was 26%.
Recent medical studies have suggested that high percent mammographic density may be an inherited quality. However, breast density is also affected by age, certain drugs, pregnancy and menopause but can be changed. Furthermore, dense breast tissue makes screening less accurate.
According to the American Cancer Society, in general, higher per cent breast density has an increased risk of 1.2 to 2 times that of women with average breast density.
Breast Cancer Stats In Australia
Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. Approximately 57 Australians are diagnosed each and every day. That equates to over 20,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
1 in 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
About 1 in 600 men are diagnosed in their lifetime.
Around 1000 young women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, equivalent to about 3 young women each day.
In 2022, over 3,200 Australian will pass away from breast cancer . Approximately one woman under the age of 40 is expected to die each week from breast cancer.
Thats 9 Australians a day dying from the disease.
In the last 10 years, breast cancer diagnosis have increased by 33%.
Since the National Breast Cancer Foundation started funding in 1994, thedeath rates from breast cancer in Australia have reduced by 43% thanks in large part to research in prevention, early detection and new and improved breast cancer treatments.
Weve come a long way. But theres still progress to be made.
Thats why were committed to funding a broad spectrum of research to help understand risk factors, develop new ways to detect and treat breast cancer, improve quality of life for breast cancer patients, improve treatment outcomes and ultimately save lives.
Our vision: Zero Deaths from breast cancer.
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How Well Is Nz Doing In Tackling Breast Cancer
In the first and biggest study of its kind, weve analysed data in Te Rhita Mate taetae – Breast Cancer Foundation National Register.
Our report, 30,000 voices: Informing a better future for breast cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand, looks at how New Zealand is doing when it comes to breast cancer diagnoses and treatment.
Having Had Radiation Therapy
Females who have had radiation therapy to the chest or breasts, such as for Hodgkin lymphoma, before the age of 30 years have a higher chance of developing breast cancer.
This risk varies with age and is highest in people who were in their teens when they had radiation treatment. According to the
A number of lifestyle factors can increase someones risk of breast cancer. Being aware of these factors can help them reduce their breast cancer risk.
These lifestyle factors include:
- Being inactive: Physical inactivity increases a persons risk of breast cancer. Getting regular exercise may help reduce this risk.
- Taking hormones: Some types of hormone replacement therapy and hormonal birth control may increase the risk of breast cancer. Finding nonhormonal alternatives may reduce a persons chance of developing breast cancer.
- Being overweight after menopause: After menopause, people who are overweight are more likely to develop breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce breast cancer risk.
- Drinking alcohol: According to the
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Risk Of Breast Cancer In Different Countries
The above information and statistics are based on American women. However, the risk of breast cancer is not the same around the world.
In Canada, based on the Canadian Cancer Society 2010 data, the lifetime risk of breast cancer is around 1 in 9 or 11%. Furthermore, 1 in 30 will die from breast cancer.
For women in the UK, the risk of breast cancer diagnosis in a lifetime, according to statistics from Cancer Research UK in 2012, is also 1 in 8.
According to the Australian government data for 2017, a womans risk of breast cancer by the time they are 85, is 1 in 14.
Because the incidence of breast cancer is lower in Asia compared to Western countries, the lifetime risk is currently lower too. For women of Malaysia, the risk of breast cancer is 1 in 28. For Chinese women, it is 1 in 16 and for Indian women, it is a 1 in 17 risk.
These figures are, however, a little old based on statistics from 2003 to 2005. Indeed, incidence rates of breast cancer in parts of Asia have been rapidly rising, so expect the lifetime risk to be higher too.
Interestingly, when a woman from a country with a low risk moves to a higher risk country her lifetime risk of breast cancer changes to that of the country she has moved to.
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.
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Race And Ethnicity And Breast Cancer Risk
The risk of breast cancer incidence and mortality does vary according to different ethnic and racial groups. We can see the risk for each different racial group on our bar chart above.
In general, white women are more likely to develop breast cancer. However, there are many factors involved in breast cancer risk factors and race.
We have a whole new post on Incidence and Mortality Rates by Race.
What Is Secondary Breast Cancer
Secondary breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body, becoming incurable. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lungs or liver.
While it cannot be cured, there are treatments that can help control certain forms of the disease for some time and relieve symptoms to help people live well for as long as possible.
There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. In around 5% of women, breast cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.
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