Breast Cancer Statistics Facts
National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is a grassroots organization dedicated to end breast cancer through action and defense. NBCC members are committed to achieving this goal by 2020. Here are some statistics that speak of the need to stop this deadly disease:
- The National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. This risk was about 1 in 11 in 1975 (ACS, 2010).
- On January 1, 2008, in the United States there were approximately 2,632,005 women alive who had a history of breast cancer (SEER, 2011).
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S, after lung cancer. Approximately 39,970 women and 450 men in the U.S. will die from the disease in 2011 (ACS, 2011).
- Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States. It is estimated that 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the U.S. in 2011. In addition to invasive cancers, 57,650 new cases of in situ breast cancer will be diagnosed; approximately 49,003 of which will be ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Approximately 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among U.S men (ACS, 2011).
- The incidence of breast cancer declined from 1999 to 2003, with the greatest decline among white women. Incidence rates have remained relatively stable since 2003 (SEER, 2011).
- According to the SEER data from 2001-2007, approximately 90% of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer were still living five years after getting the disease; among black women, approximately 77% were still living five years after getting the disease (SEER, 2011).
- Older women are much more likely to get breast cancer than younger women. From 2004-2008, the median age for a breast cancer diagnosis was 61 years of age. Approximately 0.0% were diagnosed under age 20; 1.9% between 20 and 34; 10.2% between 35 and 44; 22.6% between 45 and 54; 24.4% between 55 and 64; 19.7% between 65 and 74; 15.5% between 75 and 84; and 5.6% 85+ years of age. (SEER, 2011).
- Combining all age groups, white (non-Hispanic) women are more likely to develop breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women (ACS, 2010).
- Between 1994 and 2003, the mortality rate for women of all races combined declined by 2.4% annually. In white women, breast cancer mortality declined by 2.5% annually. In black women, mortality declined by 1.4% annually during the same period (NCI, 2006).
- Mortality has declined faster for women under the age of 50 (by 3.2% annually), regardless of race/ethnicity (ACS, 2011).
- The current methods of treatment in use in the United States are surgery (mastectomy and lumpectomy), radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy (ACS, 2011).
- Mammography screening does not prevent or cure breast cancer. It may detect the disease before symptoms occur. It may also lead to over diagnosis and over treatment (Nelson et al, 2009).
- Mammography screening has led to a dramatic increase in the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). The diagnosis was relatively rare before the early 1980's and the widespread use of mammography. Today, approximately one woman is diagnosed with DCIS for every four women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (Allegra et al, 2010).
- All women are at risk for breast cancer. Only 5-10% of those with breast cancer have inherited a mutation in the known breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) and 90-95% of breast cancer cases do not involve these inherited mutations. (ACS 2010; NCI 2006).
- Factors that increase a woman's risk of breast cancer include older age, genetic factors, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, long menstrual history, null parity (having no children), older than 30 years of age at first full-term pregnancy, daily alcohol consumption, use of combined postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT), postmenopausal obesity and ionizing radiation. Factors that decrease a woman's risk of breast cancer include breast-feeding and physical activity (exercise) (ACS, 2010).
- There is some new data to suggest that these risk factors have less influence among Hispanic women. According to results of the 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study, Hispanic women with breast cancer were more likely than white women with breast cancer to have characteristics associated with a lower risk of breast cancer, such as younger age at first birth, having more children, less hormone use, and less alcohol consumption (Hines et al, 2010).
- Higher breast density has been shown to be associated with the risk of breast cancer. It was found that the rate of breast cancer was almost four times greater in those with extremely dense breast tissue as opposed to those with fatty breast tissue. It is important to remember that since mammography is less sensitive in detecting breast cancer for dense breasts, the effect of breast density may be somewhat underestimated (Barlow et al, 2006).
- Studies on chemo preventive agents tamoxifen and raloxifene were not adequately designed to determine their impact on the prevention of breast cancer for healthy women, nor are the studies long enough to assess long term side effects and impact on mortality (Vogel et al, 2010).