Twelve percent of women, about 1 in 8 women, will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
In the U.S., an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) are expected to be diagnosed in 2017.
In 2017, 2,470 new cases of breast cancer in men are expected to be diagnosed. The risk of being diagnosed in a man’s lifetime is about 1 in 1,000.
After breast cancer rates increased over the past 20 years, rates finally began to drop in 2000. From 2002 to 2003, rates dropped by 7%. The Women’s Health Initiative, a large study, was published in 2002. The results of this study theorize that the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the cause of this reduction in cancer rates, as there is suggested that the use of HRT increases the risk of breast cancer.
In 2017, approximately 40,610 U.S. women are expected to die from breast cancer. However, rates of breast cancer deaths have decreased since 1989, particularly in the 50+ demographic. This reduction has been attributed to increased awareness about breast cancer, earlier detection through screening and progressive treatments.
Breast cancer rates in the U.S. are higher than any other cancer, except for lung cancer.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S., besides skin cancer. Of newly diagnosed cancers, 30% will be breast cancer.
Breast cancer in women under 45 in more common in African-American women than white women. African-American women have a higher risk of dying from breast cancer, while Asian, Hispanic and Native American women have a lower risk of dying from breast cancer.
In the U.S., as of March 2017, there are over 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer; this includes women who are currently in treatment or have finished treatment.
If a woman has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, her risk of being diagnosed with cancer almost doubles. However, less than 15% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have had a family member diagnosed with cancer.
Inherited gene mutations cause 5-10% of breast cancers, of which the mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, while women with the BRCA2 mutation have a 45% risk. In addition, breast cancer that tests positive for both mutations often develops more frequently in younger women, and these mutations also carry an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer. Men who carry the BRCA2 gene have an approximate lifetime cancer risk of 6.8%, while carrying the BRCA1 gene is a less frequent cause of cancer in men.
Approximately 85% of breast cancer occurs in women with no family history of breast cancer. Instead of a genetic inheritance, these cancer diagnoses are due to factors in life and aging in general that may cause genetic mutations.