Posted: November 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

By: Wesley Uhler, Jessica Guay, Abu Daud Isa


Breast Cancer By the Numbers

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, except for some kinds of skin cancer. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death. In the 1970s, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. was just under 10 percent. Currently, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., and this includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

  • About 1 out of 8 U.S. women, approximately 12.3 percent of women, will develop breast cancer at some point in their life.
  • Breast cancer accounts for 16 percent of all female cancers and 22.9 percent of invasive cancers in women.
  • 18.2 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide, including both males and females, are from breast cancer. It develops from breast cells and usually starts off in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, during 2013 about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and about 39,620 women are expected to die from breast cancer.
  • According to recent statistics from the American Cancer Society, African-American women are 41 percent more likely than white women to die from breast cancer. Income and lack of access to screening and care for African-American women is the main cause.
  • The mortality rate for African-American women with breast cancer is 34.8 per 100,000 cases and for white women is 18.6. The American Cancer Society linked access to screening with increased survival rate.
  • After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000, then dropped by about 7 percent from 2002 to 2003.
  • This large decrease was thought to be due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases.

New breast cancer cases have not changed significantly over the last 10 years. Breast cancer death rates have been decreasing since 1989 as a result of treatment advances, earlier detection screenings, and increased awareness. Clinical trials to find new ways to prevent breast cancer are continuously being studied. Research shows that if breast cancer is detected at an early stage, there is a 98 percent survival rate.