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Breast Cancer Statistics & Survival Rates

Breast Cancer Cases/Deaths Per Year (U.S. and World)

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women today, after lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the United States, and more than 39,000 will die from the disease. 

Breast cancer rates are on the decline, according to the Society. Deaths from breast cancer have decreased by about 2 percent since 1990, likely from earlier detection and advances in treatment. 

Incidence By Age

This risk model is based on population averages. Each woman's breast cancer risk may be higher or lower, depending upon a several factors, including family history, genetics, age of menstruation, and other factors that have not yet been identified.

Probability of Developing Breast Cancer Within the Next 10 years
By age 20 1 out of 1,681
By age 30 1 out of 232
By age 40 1 out of 69
By age 50 1 out of 42
By age 60 1 out of 29
By age 70 1 out of 27
Lifetime 1 out of 8

Source: Among those cancer free at age interval. Based on cases diagnosed 2005-2007. "1 in" are approximates. Source: American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2011-2012.

While breast cancer is less common at a young age (i.e., in their thirties), younger women tend to have more aggressive breast cancers than older women, which may explain why survival rates are lower among younger women. According to the American Cancer Society, 95% of new cases and 97% of breast cancer deaths occurred in women 40 years of age and older.

 Breast Cancer Survival Rates 
Five years after diagnosis 89%
Ten years after diagnosis 82%
Fifteen years after diagnosis 77%

Source: American Cancer Society

Incidence By Ethnic Group

All women are at risk for developing breast cancer. The older a woman is, the greater her chances of developing breast cancer. Approximately 77% of breast cancer cases occur in women over 50 years of age.

According to the American Cancer Society, white women develop breast cancer at a higher rate than African-American women, but African-American women are more likely to get breast cancer before they are 40, and are more likely to die from it at any age. 

Five Year Breast Cancer Survival Rate 
Race/Ethnicity Survival Rate
Non-Hispanic White 88.8%
Black 77.5%
American Indian/Alaska Native 85.6 %
Asian 90.7%
Pacific Islander 85.4%
Hispanic 83.8%

Source: American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures, 2011-2012. Note: Survival rates are based on patients diagnosed between 2001 and 2007.