Breast Cancer Statistics and Studies
Table of Contents
- All women are at risk for breast cancer.
- Who Gets This Cancer?
- Critical Advantage Portfolio
- Who Dies From This Cancer?
- In the United States:
- How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Female Breast Cancer?
- 5-year Relative Survival (%) by Age Group (years), All Races, Female Breast Cancer, United States
- How Common Is Female Breast Cancer?
- Genomic tests to predict recurrence risk
- Get A 3-D Mammogram
All women are at risk for breast cancer.
- The risk of getting breast cancer increases with age.
- Most breast cancers and breast cancer deaths occur in women 50 and older.
- The overall median age at diagnosis for women in the U.S. is 62. The median is the middle value of a group of numbers, so about half of the women are diagnosed before age 62, and about half are diagnosed after age 62. The median age at diagnosis for U.S. women varies by race/ethnicity.
Although rare, younger women can get breast cancer.
Fewer than 5 percent of breast cancers occur in women under age 40.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death (death from any type of cancer) among women ages 20-39
Genetic factors can put some younger women at a higher risk of breast cancer. Women diagnosed at younger ages may have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. These gene mutations increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Who Gets This Cancer?
Female breast cancer is most common in middle-aged and older women. Although rare, men can develop breast cancer as well. The number of new cases of female breast cancer was 127.5 per 100,000 women per year based on 2012-2016 cases.
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Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Female Breast Cancer (Females)
|Race||Cases of breast cancer per 100,000 females|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||79.5|
Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Female Breast Cancer (Females)
|Age group||Percentage of new cases|
|Younger than 20||0.0%|
|Older than 84||5.6%|
Female breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55-64
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Who Dies From This Cancer?
Overall, female breast cancer survival is good. However, women diagnosed at an advanced age may be more likely than younger women to die of the disease. Female breast cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 20.6 per 100,000 women per year based on 2012-2016.
Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Female Breast Cancer (Females)
|Race||Deaths per 100,000 females|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||14.3|
Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Female Breast Cancer (Females)
|Age group||Percentage of deaths|
|Younger than 20||0.0%|
|Older than 84||17.0%|
The percent of female breast cancer deaths is highest among women aged 65-74.
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.
Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new female breast cancer cases have been rising on average 0.3% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.8% each year over 2007-2016. 5-year survival trends are shown below.
In the United States:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women after skin cancer.
- There are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, including women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.
- In the U.S. in 2019, there will be an estimated 271,270 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women and 2,670 cases diagnosed in men.
- From 2005 to 2014, the most recent 10 years for which data are available, invasive breast cancer incidence rates were stable in white women and increased slightly (by 0.3% per year) in black women.
- An estimated 42,260 breast cancer deaths will occur.
- 500 men will die from breast cancer.
- The 5- and 10-year relative survival rates for women with invasive breast cancer are 90% and 83%, respectively.
- The overall 5-year relative survival rate is 99% for localized disease, 85% for regional disease, and 27% for distant-stage disease.
- Since 1975, the breast cancer 5-year relative survival rate has increased significantly for black and white women. While a substantial gap remains, especially for late-stage diagnoses, the racial disparity seems to be narrowing. In the most recent period, the 5-year relative survival rate was 83% for black women and 92% for white women.
- About 6% of women have metastatic cancer when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer. Even if the cancer is found at a more advanced stage, new treatments help many people with breast cancer maintain a good quality of life, at least for some time. It is important to note that these statistics are averages, and each person’s chance of recovery depends on many factors, including the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes that contain cancer, and other features of the tumor that affect how quickly a tumor will grow and how well the treatment works. This means that it can be difficult to estimate each person’s chance of survival. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States after lung cancer. However, since 1989, the number of women who have died of breast cancer has steadily decreased thanks to early detection and treatment improvements.
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Female Breast Cancer?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, you cannot predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Percentage Surviving | 5 years | 89.9%
Survival by Stage
The cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1).
If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier female breast cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For female breast cancer, 62.5% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized female breast cancer is 98.8%.
5-year Relative Survival (%) by Age Group (years), All Races, Female Breast Cancer, United States
How Common Is Female Breast Cancer?
Compared to other cancers, female breast cancer is fairly common.
|Types of cancer||Estimated new cases (2019)||Estimated deaths (2019)|
|Breast Cancer (Female)||268,600||41,760|
|Lung and Bronchus Cancer||228,150||142,670|
|Melanoma of the Skin||96,480||7,230|
|Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||73,820||14,770|
Genomic tests to predict recurrence risk
Doctors use genomic tests to look for specific genes or substances made by the genes called proteins found in or on cancer cells. These tests help doctors better understand the unique features of each patient’s breast cancer. Genomic tests can also help estimate the risk of cancer coming back after treatment. Knowing this information helps doctors and patients make decisions about specific treatments. This can help some patients avoid unwanted side effects from a treatment that they may not need.
Even if you already had the tumor removed, you can still do the following genomic tests. Most patients will not need an extra biopsy or more surgery for these tests.
- Oncotype Dx™. This test is an option for people with ER-positive and/or PR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. This test can help patients and their doctors decide whether chemotherapy should be added to hormonal therapy. This test looks at 16 cancer-related genes and 5 reference genes to calculate a “recurrence score” that estimates cancer risk coming back within 10 years after diagnosis. The recurrence score is used to guide recommendations on chemotherapy, which may also differ by age. The recommendations are listed by age group below.
For patients age 50 or younger
- Recurrence score less than 16: Chemotherapy is generally not needed along with hormonal therapy
- Recurrence score of 16 to 30: Chemotherapy may be added to hormonal therapy
- Recurrence score of 31 or higher: Chemotherapy is usually added to hormonal therapy
For patients older than 50
- Recurrence score less than 26: Chemotherapy is generally not needed along with hormonal therapy
- Recurrence score of 26 to 30: Chemotherapy may be added to hormonal therapy
- Recurrence score of 31 or higher: Chemotherapy is usually added to hormonal therapy
- MammaPrint™. This test is an option for people with ER-positive and/or PR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes or has only spread to 1 to 3 lymph nodes. This test uses information from 70 genes to estimate the risk of recurrence for early-stage breast cancer. For people with a high risk of the cancer coming back, this test can help patients and their doctors decide whether chemotherapy should be added to hormonal therapy. This test is not recommended for people with a low risk of cancer coming back.
- Breast Cancer Index™. This test is an option for people with ER-positive and/or PR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. This test may help patients and their doctors decide how long a patient should receive hormonal therapy.
- Additional tests. Additional tests may be options for people with ER-positive and/or PR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes. These tests include PAM50 (Prosigna™), EndoPredict, and uPA/PAI and can also be used to estimate how likely cancer will spread to other parts of the body.
The tests listed above are not useful for predicting recurrence risk for people with HER2-positive or triple-negative breast cancer. Therefore, none of these tests are currently recommended for breast cancer that is HER2 positive or triple-negative. Your doctor will use other factors to help recommend treatment options for you.
Please talk with your doctor for more information about genomic tests, what they mean, and how the results might affect your treatment plan.
Get A 3-D Mammogram
Most women have to wait until they are 40 to have their doctor prescribe them a mammogram.
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“ 3D mammograms allow us to be more accurate in our ability to detect and diagnose cancer as compared to traditional [two-dimensional] mammograms. they also allow us to be more accurate in our ability to detect and diagnose cancer as compared to traditional [two-dimensional] mammograms. A 3D mammogram would obtain approximately 300 images, as compared to a two-dimensional mammogram, which is about four images. 3D mammograms allow the radiologist to see the breast tissue in greater detail and be able to provide a more certain diagnosis. It means greater peace of mind, less anxiety, more accurate diagnosis if they have cancer, more certainty that they don’t”
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