Breast Cancer Statistics

Cancer is defined as a group of diseases characterized by uncontrolled growth and the spread of abnormal cells. These cells can invade surrounding structures and migrate to other parts of the body (metastasis). This can result in death. Cancer accounts for 1 in 4 deaths in the United States. Cancer overall is the number two leading cause of the death in the United States, second only to heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for people between the age of 40 and 79. A total of 1,529,560 cancers are expected in the United States in 2010. Statistics from the American Cancer Society estimate that more than half a million men and women will die from cancer in 2010. The good news is that cancer death rates have been declining since the early 1990's.

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women (except non-melanoma skin cancer). The incidence rate of breast cancer has been decreasing since 1999. This is most likely due to the drop in hormone replacement therapy prescribed and used by postmenopausal women. The American Cancer Society's most recent statistics estimate 209,060 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2010. Approximately 1,970 men will be affected. Breast cancer is expected to account for 28% of all new cancer cases among women.

Although breast cancer death rates have decreased by 27% between 1990 and 2005, there will still be approximately 40,000 women who will die of breast cancer in 2010. The decrease of breast cancer death rate is due in part to early detection and improved treatments. Breast cancer is the second most fatal cancer following lung cancer. Breast cancer will be responsible for 15% of cancer deaths in women. About 54,010 women will be diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (pre-invasive cancer), which is the earliest form of breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma in situ was once a rare disease. Widespread use of screening mammography has transformed diagnosis of this pre-invasive lesion, such that it is now seen in up to 20%- 30% of breast cancers in screening programs.

There is still a lot of work to be done in order to find the cure for breast cancer, however this is not an impossible task. We should continue to make every effort in diagnosing this disease at the earliest possible stage. This will give women and men the best chance of survival and ultimately the path to a CURE.

Leading Sites of New Cancer Cases and Deaths - 2010 Estimates

Estimated New Cancer Cases - 2010 Estimated Cancer Deaths - 2010
207,090 (28%)
Lung & Bronchus
71,080 (26%)
Lung & Bronchus
105,770 (14%)
39,840 (15%)
Colon & Rectum
70,480 (10%)
Colon & Rectum
24,790 (9%)
Uterine Corpus
43,470 (6%)
18,030 (7%)
33,930 (5%)
13,850 (5%)
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
30,160 (4%)
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
9,500 (4%)
Melanoma of the skin
29,260 (4%)
9,180 (3%)
Kidney & Renal Pelvis
22,870 (3%)
Uterine Corpus
7,950 (3%)
21,880 (3%)
Liver & Intrahepatic Bile Duct
6,190 (2%)
21,770 (3%)
Brain & Other Nervous System
5,720 (2%)
All Sites
739,940 (100%)
All Sites
270,290 (100%)

Source: 2010, American Cancer Society, Inc., Surveillance and Health Policy Research

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (except non-melanoma skin cancer) and the second most fatal following lung cancer.

The incidence and mortality of breast cancer varies among different ethnic groups. White women have the highest incidence of breast cancer. African-American women have the highest mortality.

Female Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality Rates by Race in the U.S.,Yr. 2002- 2006

  Incidence Mortality
  White 123.5 23.9
  African American 113 33
  Hispanic 90.2 15.5
  Asian American/ Pacific Islander 81.6 12.5
  American Indian/ Alaska Native 91.7 14.3

* Rate per 100,000 age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population

Estimated New female Breast Cancer Cases and Deaths by Age, U.S. 2009

Age In Situ Cases Invasive Cases Deaths
Younger than 45 6,460 18,640 2,820
45 and older 55,820 173,730 37,350
Younger than 55 24,450 62,520 8,890
55 and older 37,830 129,850 31,280
55 and older 37,830 120,540 17,200
65 and older 21,340 71,830 22,970
All Ages 62,280 192,370 40,170

Almost 20,000 women younger than 45 years of age were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Age-Specific Probabilities of Developing Invasive Breast Cancer

If Current Age is... The probability of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years is: or 1 in:
20 0.06% 1,760
30 0.44% 229
40 1.44% 69
50 2.39% 42
60 3.40% 29
70 3.73% 27
Lifetime risk 12.08% 8

Age is one of the most important risk factors to develop breast cancer. The risk increases as a woman gets older. Approximately 75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have risk factors.