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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Breast Facts > Statistics > Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast Cancer Statistics

      

  

Racial and Ethnic Differences
Fact Sheet

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Breast Cancer 101 (Interactive Multimedia) - Incidence
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Breast Cancer 101 (Interactive Multimedia) - Mortality
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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.  

Learn more about:

Overall estimates of breast cancer in the U.S.   

Women  

In 2014, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be [37]:

  • 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors.)
     
  • 62,570 new cases of in situ breast cancer (This includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Of those, about 83 percent will be DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer and LCIS is a condition that increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. Learn more about DCIS and LCIS.)
     
  • 40,000 breast cancer deaths  

Rates of breast cancer among women vary by:

Men  

Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. In 2014, it is estimated that among men in the U.S. there will be [37]:

  •  2,360 new cases of (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors.) 
     
  •  430 breast cancer deaths 

Rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) are much lower among men than among women [38]. For example, in 2010 (most recent data available) [39]:

 

Men 

Women 

Incidence (new cases) 

1.3 per 100,000

120.9 per 100,000

Mortality (deaths) 

0.3 per 100,000

21.9 per 100,000

Survival rates for men are about the same as for women with the same stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis [40]. However, men are usually diagnosed at a later stage because they are less likely to report symptoms [40]. Learn more about the symptoms of breast cancer in men.

Treatment for men is the same as treatment for women and usually includes a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or targeted therapy. Learn more about treatment for breast cancer in men.   

Time trends of breast cancer rates in the U.S.  

Breast cancer incidence over time  

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 [41].  

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 [38].

Breast cancer mortality over time

Breast cancer mortality (death) rates in the U.S. increased slowly from 1975 to 1990 [41]. Since 1990, breast cancer mortality has decreased by 34 percent [41]. This decline is due to improved breast cancer treatment and early detection [41].  

Mammography and rates of early detection over time

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 [39].  

Race/ethnicity and breast cancer rates over time

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 [41]. However, breast cancer mortality has declined more slowly among black women than among white women [41]. 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.    

Figure 1.2 

Figure 1.2 - Breast cancer incidence and mortality white females versus black females  

Age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.
Source: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2010, 2013 [39]  

Breast cancer rates in men over time

Rates of breast cancer incidence and mortality in men have changed little over the past 30 years [39]. Learn more about breast cancer in men 

Geographic variation in breast cancer rates    

Variation within the U.S.

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  

State  

Rate of Invasive Breast Cancer
(per 100,000 women) 
 

State  

Rate of Invasive Breast Cancer
(per 100,000 women) 
 

United States

122

Missouri

122

Alabama

119

Montana

124

Alaska

128

Nebraska

122

Arizona

110

Nevada

113

Arkansas

110

New Hampshire

132

California

122

New Jersey

129

Colorado

125

New Mexico

109

Connecticut

136

New York

128

Delaware

127

North Carolina

125

District of Columbia

140

North Dakota

123

Florida

114

Ohio

121

Georgia

122

Oklahoma

122

Hawaii

123

Oregon

130

Idaho

120

Pennsylvania

126

Illinois

126

Rhode Island

131

Indiana

117

South Carolina

122

Iowa

123

South Dakota

118

Kansas

123

Tennessee

129

Kentucky

121

Texas

114

Louisiana

120

Utah

111

Maine

127

Vermont

131

Maryland

128

Virginia

125

Massachusetts

134

Washington

131

Michigan

120

West Virginia

110

Minnesota

Not available

Wisconsin

123

Mississippi

114

Wyoming

111

Source: American Cancer Society, 2014 [37]

  

Figure 1.6: Estimated Breast Cancer Mortality (Death) Rates among Women by State, 2006-2010   

State  

 Rate of Breast Cancer Mortality
(per 100,000 women) 
 

State  

 Rate of Breast Cancer Mortality
(per 100,000 women) 
 

United States

23

Missouri

24

Alabama

23

Montana

20

Alaska

24

Nebraska

20

Arizona

21

Nevada

23

Arkansas

23

New Hampshire

21

California

22

New Jersey

25

Colorado

20

New Mexico

21

Connecticut

22

New York

22

Delaware

23

North Carolina

23

District of Columbia

30

North Dakota

22

Florida

21

Ohio

25

Georgia

23

Oklahoma

24

Hawaii

16

Oregon

22

Idaho

22

Pennsylvania

24

Illinois

24

Rhode Island

21

Indiana

24

South Carolina

24

Iowa

21

South Dakota

20

Kansas

22

Tennessee

23

Kentucky

23

Texas

22

Louisiana

25

Utah

22

Maine

21

Vermont

20

Maryland

25

Virginia

24

Massachusetts

21

Washington

22

Michigan

24

West Virginia

22

Minnesota

21

Wisconsin

21

Mississippi

25

Wyoming

21

Source: American Cancer Society, 2014 [37]  

Worldwide variation  

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) [44].

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). (See Figure 1.3 below.)

Women who live in developed countries also tend to have a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer than women who live in developing countries (see Figure 1.4 below).

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.    

 

Figure 1.3:
Breast Cancer Incidence Worldwide
  

  Figure 1.4:
Lifetime Risk of Breast Cancer Worldwide
  

  

Race/ethnicity and breast cancer incidence and mortality

Among women in the U.S., rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) vary by race and ethnicity.   

Figure 1.7 

 Figure 1.6 and Figure 2.3 - Incidence of breast cancer by racial-ethnic group 

Source: American Cancer Society, 2013 [41]

White women have the highest breast cancer incidence overall, while Asian American and Pacific Islander women have the lowest [41].  

 

Figure 1.8 

Breast cancer mortality in women by racial-ethnic group 

Source: American Cancer Society, 2013 [41]

 

African American women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall, while Asian American and Pacific Islander women have the lowest [41].

Learn more about breast cancer incidence and mortality among women of different races/ethnicities:  

Migration to the U.S. and breast cancer rates  

Immigrants in the U.S. usually have breast cancer incidence (new cases) rates similar to those in their home country. Over generations however, the daughters and granddaughters of immigrants have a risk similar to other women born in the U.S.   

African American women 

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 [37]. 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 [46].  

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 [46].  

Breast cancer mortality (death) is 41 percent higher in African American women than in white women [46]. 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 [39]. There are many possible reasons for this difference in survival including:

  • Biologic and genetic differences in tumors
  • Prevalence of risk factors
  • Barriers to health care access
  • Health behaviors
  • Later stage of breast cancer at diagnosis

Breast cancer screening rates among African American women are similar to those among white women [47]. Learn more breast cancer screening among African American women.  

Ashkenazi Jewish 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.  

Asian American and Pacific Islander women

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 [41]. For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) [41]:  

 

Asian American
and Pacific Islander
women
 

White
(non-Hispanic)
women
 

African American
women
 

Incidence
(new cases)
 

84.7 per 100,000

127.3 per 100,000

118.4 per 100,000

Mortality
(deaths)
 

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 [55]. 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) [37].   

Asian American and Pacific Islander women have somewhat lower rates of breast cancer screening than African American and white women [47]. Learn more about breast cancer screening among Asian American and Pacific Islander women.  

Hispanic/Latina women

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Hispanic/Latina women [41]. 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 [41]. For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) [41]: 

 

Hispanic/Latina
women
 

White
(non-Hispanic)
women
 

African American
women
 

Incidence
(new cases)
 

91.1 per 100,000

127.3 per 100,000

118.4 per 100,000

Mortality
(deaths)
 

14.8 per 100,000

22.7 per 100,000

30.8 per 100,000

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 [56]. Breast cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Hispanic/Latina women [37].

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 [56]. Learn more about breast cancer screening among Hispanic/Latina women.  

Native American women (American Indian and Alaska Native 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 [41]. However, both incidence and mortality remain lower than among white or African American women. For example, from 2006 to 2010 (most recent data available) [41]: 

 

American Indian
and Alaska Native
women
 

White
(non-Hispanic)
women
 

African American
women
 

Incidence
(new cases)
 

90.3 per 100,000

127.3 per 100,000

118.4 per 100,000

Mortality
(deaths)
 

15.5 per 100,000

22.7 per 100,000

30.8 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 [57].  

Although data are limited, mammography screening rates among American Indian and Alaska Native women are similar to rates among white women [47]. Learn more about breast cancer screening among Native American women.  

Lesbians, bisexual women and transgender people

Lesbians and bisexual 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 [62].

One study found similar rates of screening mammography among lesbians and bisexual women and heterosexual women [63]. 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.  

Transgender people

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.  

 

Age and breast cancer

The two most common risk factors for breast cancer are:

  • Being female
  • Getting older

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 [41].  

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.  

Younger women

Although rare, younger women can also get breast cancer. Fewer than five percent of breast cancers occur in women under age 40 [41]. However, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death (death from any type of cancer) among women ages 20 to 59 [38].  

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 

Pregnant women

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in pregnant and postpartum women. About 13 cases are diagnosed per 100,000 pregnancies [66]. 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.  

Updated 03/15/14

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