Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast Cancer Statistics

National Statistics

General Statistics

  • An estimated 231,840 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. [1]
  • About 246,660 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2016. [2]
  • There were an estimated 2,975,314 women living with breast cancer in 2012. [1]

Incidence Rates

  • Approximately 12.3% of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data. [1] This can also be expressed as 1 in 8 women.
  • Breast cancer occurs in men as well, accounting for 1% of all breast cancer diagnoses. Since 1975, the incidence rate increased 0.8% annually, from 1.0 cases per 100,000 men during 1975-1979 to 1.2 cases per 100,000 men during 2005-2010. [3]
  • Breast cancer incidence rates are highest for White women, next highest for Black women, followed by Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native women. [4]

View National Incidence Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Female BC Rates by Race-Ethnicity From IBERCC ReportChart from Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, released by the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Research Coordinating Committee in February 2013.

Mortality Rates

  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. [2]
  • An estimated 40,290 women died from the breast cancer in 2015. [1]
  • About 40,450 women will die from breast cancer in 2016. [2]
  • Black women experience the highest death rate from breast cancer despite a lower incidence rate than White women. This disparity may be due to more aggressive tumor biology, later stage at diagnosis, and/or factors related to access to care and receipt of optimal treatment. [4]

View National Mortality Rates by Race/Ethnicity

Female BC Deaths by Race-Ethnicity from IBERCC ReportChart from Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, released by the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Research Coordinating Committee in February 2013.

Massachusetts Statistics

MA Incidence Rates

  • From 2008-2012, breast cancer was the most common type of cancer diagnosed among Massachusetts females, accounting for 29.3% of these women. [5]
  • In Massachusetts, from 2007 through 2011, there were 183,867 newly diagnosed cases of cancer, for an average annual age-adjusted incidence rate of 500 cases per 100,000 persons. [5]
  • In 2012, Massachusetts was within the top ten states with the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the United States. [6]

MA Incidence Rates Compared to National Rates

ma-bc-rates

Causes & Risk Factors

  • Ionizing radiation—including exposure from x-rays and CAT scans—is 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 woman’s 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 levels—such as alcohol use and exercise—also affect risk. Women are at much higher risk than men, and risk increases with age. Inherited genes, family history, and socioeconomic status are all associated with breast cancer risk. [7]
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of the disease. [8]
  • Only about 5-10% of breast cancer cases can be linked to gene mutations inherited from one’s mother or father (including BRCA1, BRCA2, and others). [4]
  • Over 84,000 chemicals are currently registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for commercial use in the United States. Complete toxicological screening data are available for only 7% of these chemicals registered for use. [4]

Breast Cancer Funding & Financial Burden

  • The estimated 2012 national cost of cancer care for breast cancer was $17.35 billion. [4]
  • The economic value of life lost due to premature death from breast cancer is estimated to reach $121 billion by the year 2020. [4]
  • There’s a low level of federal and NGO funding for breast cancer prevention and etiology research. Low funding levels in this area may be a result of a research funding strategy that is more focused on developing cures rather than on prevention. [4]

View distribution of projects related to breast cancer across NGOs

Distribution of projects related to breast cancer across NGOs

Chart from Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention, released by the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Research Coordinating Committee in February 2013.

References

[1] National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

[2] Key Statistics About Breast Cancer, The American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics

[3] American Cancer Society (ACS) Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2011-2012 http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@research/documents/document/acspc-042725.pdf [4] Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC), Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention. http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/assets/docs/ibcercc_full.pdf

[5] Cancer Incidence And Mortality In Massachusetts 2004-2008: Statewide Report, Mass. Dept. of Public Health http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/community-health/cancer-age/massachusetts-cancer-statistics.html

[6] Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/state.htm

[7] Silent Spring Institute. Risk Factors for Breast Cancer. http://www.silentspring.org/faqs/risk-factors-breast-cancer

[8] http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics.jsp


Updated March, 2016

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