Rates of breast cancer vary among different groups of people. Rates vary between women and men and among people of different ethnicities and ages. They vary around the world and across the U.S.
This section provides an overview of breast cancer statistics for many populations.
In 2014, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be :
Rates of breast cancer among women vary by:
You may learn more about these factors below.
Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. And, rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) are much lower among men than among women .
Access facts and statistics for the male population by learning about breast cancer in men.
From the 1940s until the 1980s, breast cancer incidence (new cases) rates in the U.S. increased by a little over one percent each year. In the 1980s, incidence rose greatly (likely due to increased mammography screening), and then leveled off during the 1990s .
The incidence of breast cancer declined in the early 2000s [37-38]. Although mammography screening rates fell somewhat over this same time period, studies show these changes were not likely related to the decline in breast cancer rates [42-43]. The decline appears to be related to the drop in use of menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormone use) that occurred after the Women's Health Initiative study showed its use increased the risk of breast cancer [37,41-43].
Since 2004, the incidence of breast cancer has remained stable .
Breast cancer mortality (death) rates in the U.S. increased slowly from 1975 to 1990 . Since 1990, breast cancer mortality has decreased by 34 percent . This decline is due to improved breast cancer treatment and early detection .
As mammography screening rates have increased, more cases of breast cancer have been found at earlier stages, when chances of survival are highest.
During the 1980s and 1990s, diagnoses of early stage breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and conditions such as lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), increased greatly. Since the late 1990s, these rates have increased slightly. At the same time, diagnoses of advanced stage (metastatic) breast cancer have remained stable .
Over time, the incidence (new cases) of breast cancer has been higher among white women than among black women.
Since 1990, mortality (death) from breast cancer has declined for both white women and black women . However, breast cancer mortality has declined more slowly among black women than among white women . So, despite incidence being higher for white women, mortality is higher for black women. Figure 1.2 (below) shows these trends.
Learn more about race/ethnicity and breast cancer risk.
Age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.Source: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010, 2013 
Rates of breast cancer incidence and mortality in men have changed little over the past 30 years . Learn more about breast cancer in men.
Rates of breast cancer vary across the U.S. Figure 1.5 (below) shows the incidence (new cases) rates of breast cancer for each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Figure 1.6 (below) shows breast cancer mortality (death) rates.
For maps of breast cancer incidence and mortality in the U.S., visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website.
Figure 1.5: Estimated Breast Cancer Incidence (New Cases) Rates among Women by State, 2006-2010
Rate of Invasive Breast Cancer (per 100,000 women)
District of Columbia
Source: American Cancer Society, 2014 
Figure 1.6: Estimated Breast Cancer Mortality (Death) Rates among Women by State, 2006-2010
Rate of Breast Cancer Mortality (per 100,000 women)
Source: American Cancer Society, 2014 
Figure 1.3: Breast cancer incidence (new cases) rates worldwide
Source: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Health Organization (WHO) 
Figure 1.4 Lifetime risk of breast cancer worldwide
Source: Forouzanfar et al. 
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. It is estimated that more than 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer occurred among women worldwide in 2012 (most recent data available) .
Rates of breast cancer around the world vary a great deal. In general, developed countries (such as the U.S., England and Australia) have higher rates than developing countries (such as Cambodia, Nepal and Rwanda).
Women who live in developed countries also tend to have a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer than women who live in developing countries.
Although we don’t know all the reasons for these differences, lifestyle and reproductive factors likely play a large role. Low screening rates and incomplete reporting can make rates of breast cancer in developing countries look lower than they truly are and may also explain some of the difference.
Learn more about lifetime risk of breast cancer in the U.S.
See Figure 1.3 and Figure 1.4 in the above topic tab "Geographic Variation in Breast Cancer Rates" to learn about breast cancer incidence worldwide and lifetime risk of breast cancer world wide.
Among women in the U.S., rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) vary by race and ethnicity.
Source: American Cancer Society, 2013 
White women have the highest breast cancer incidence overall, while Asian American and Pacific Islander women have the lowest .
African American women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall, while Asian American and Pacific Islander women have the lowest .
In the folders below, learn more about breast cancer incidence and mortality among women of different races/ethnicities:
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African-American women. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death among African-American women, exceeded only by lung cancer . In 2013 (most recent data available), an estimated 27,060 new cases of breast cancer and 6,080 deaths were expected to occur among African-American women .
Overall, breast cancer incidence in African-American women is lower than in white women. However, for women younger than 45, incidence is higher among African-American women than white women .
Breast cancer mortality (death) is 41 percent higher in African-American women than in white women . Although breast cancer survival in African-American women has increased over time, survival rates remain lower than among white women. For those diagnosed from 2003 to 2009, the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer among African-American women was 79 percent compared to 92 percent among white women . There are many possible reasons for this difference in survival including:
Breast cancer screening rates among African-American women are similar to those among white women . Learn more breast cancer screening among African-American women.
Breast and ovarian cancer are somewhat more common among women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (women with ancestors from Central or Eastern Europe). This is likely due to the high prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Breast Cancer 1 and 2) gene mutations in these women. Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but those who have an inherited mutation in either of these genes are at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer [48-52].
Like other gene mutations, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are rare in the general population. However, between eight and 10 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish women carry one of these mutations [48,53-54].
Learn more about BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and breast cancer risk.
Learn about genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) rates are lower for Among Asian American and Pacific Islander women than for non-Hispanic white and African American women . For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) :
Asian-American and Pacific Islander women
84.7 per 100,000
127.3 per 100,000
118.4 per 100,000
11.5 per 100,000
22.7 per 100,000
30.8 per 100,000
Breast cancer mortality rates vary among different Asian-American and Pacific Islander ethnic groups . However, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in most Asian-American and Pacific Islander women (lung cancer is the major cause of cancer death among these women) .
Asian-American and Pacific Islander women have somewhat lower rates of breast cancer screening than African-American and white women . Learn more about breast cancer screening among Asian American and Pacific Islander women.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Hispanic/Latina women . Breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) rates for Hispanic/Latina women are lower than for non-Hispanic white women and African-American women . For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) :
In 2012 (most recent data available), among Hispanic/Latina women in the U.S., it was estimated that 17,100 new cases of breast cancer would occur and 2,400 women would die from breast cancer . Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic/Latina women .
Screening mammography rates among Hispanic/Latina women are similar to rates among non-Hispanic white and African-American women [47,56]. However, because Hispanic/Latina women tend to be diagnosed with later stage breast cancers than white women, they may be less likely to get prompt follow-up after an abnormal mammogram . Learn more about breast cancer screening among Hispanic/Latina women.
In the past, breast cancer in Native Americans was rare. However, the last two decades have seen large increases in both incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) rates for American Indian and Alaska Native women . However, both incidence and mortality remain lower than among white or African-American women. For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) :
American Indianand Alaska Nativewomen
90.3 per 100,000
15.5 per 100,000
Incidence and mortality vary according to where Native American women live. Women who live in Alaska have the highest incidence rates (similar to non-Hispanic white women) and women who live in the Southwest have the lowest incidence rates .
Although data are limited, mammography screening rates among American Indian and Alaska Native women are similar to rates among white women . Learn more about breast cancer screening among Native American women.
Although lesbians and bisexual women have a greater risk of breast cancer than other women, it is not because of their sexual orientation. Rather, it is linked to risk factors for breast cancer that tend to be more common in lesbians (such as never having children or having them later in life) [58-60]. Lesbians also tend to have higher rates of obesity and alcohol use, both of which can increase breast cancer risk [58-61].
Early findings suggest that women in a same sex-relationship may have a higher risk of breast cancer death (but not a higher risk of death from any cause) compared to women in a different-sex relationship .
One study found similar rates of screening mammography among lesbians and bisexual women and heterosexual women . However, some findings have shown lesbians and bisexual women may not get regular mammograms [64-65]. The reasons for this are not yet clear. However, lack of insurance, a perceived low breast cancer risk and not seeing a health care provider regularly may all play a role [64-65].
One step lesbians and bisexual women can take is to find a provider who is sensitive to their needs, and to see that provider on a regular basis. Provider visits offer the chance to get routine clinical breast exams and mammograms. These screening tests can find breast cancer early, when the chances of survival are highest.
At this time, data on breast cancer among transgender men and women are too limited to comment on any increased or decreased risk in these populations. If you are transgender, talk to your health care provider about your breast cancer risk. Your provider can assess your situation.
Komen’s work in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community
Hear from Eric Brinker, often called Susan G. Komen’s longest-running volunteer, about how he supports Komen’s mission as well as advocates for improved breast cancer care for the LGBT community.
Learn how Komen is working to better serve the LGBT community.
The two most common risk factors for breast cancer are:
All women are at risk for breast cancer. The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you age. Most breast cancers and breast cancer deaths occur in women aged 50 and older .
No matter your age, you should know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice any changes, see your health care provider. Learn about the warning signs of breast cancer.
Although rare, younger women can also get breast cancer. Fewer than five percent of breast cancers occur in women under age 40 . However, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death (death from any type of cancer) among women ages 20 to 59 .
While breast cancer risk is generally much lower among younger women, certain genetic factors can put some women at a higher risk. Women who are diagnosed at younger ages may have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Women who carry one of these gene mutations have an increased risk of both breast and ovarian cancers.
Learn more about inherited gene mutations and cancer risk.
Learn about breast cancer screening for women at higher risk due to a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
Learn about unique issues for younger women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in pregnant and postpartum women. About 13 cases are diagnosed per 100,000 pregnancies . When women are pregnant or breastfeeding, their breasts are naturally more tender and enlarged. This may make it harder to find a lump or notice other changes.
Learn more about breast cancer during pregnancy.
Breast Cancer 101 - Incidence in the U.S.
Facts for Life: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People
Facts for Life: Women with Disabilities
Facts for Life: Racial and Ethnic Differences
How has having breast cancer changed your outlook?