Breast Cancer Information & Positions

NBCC has gathered the latest scientific evidence on a range of breast cancer topics that impact the care and treatment of women with or at risk of the disease. We have analyzed this information from the perspective of consumer advocates. Read more about the evidence we used and to see the scientific references.

Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk
It has been hypothesized that surgical (induced) and spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) increase breast cancer risk. However, the highest quality studies show that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer risk.

Access to Investigational Interventions Outside of Clinical Trials
Access to investigational drugs outside of clinical trials must be carefully designed to be fair and to protect the research process that we depend on to bring us closer to eradicating breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Advocate Involvement in the Research Process 
Breast cancer advocates who are trained, educated and represent a patient constituency must be meaningfully involved in all aspects of decision-making that affect breast cancer research. This is the only way to ensure that funds are effectively spent and adequately address the causes and prevention of breast cancer, develop optimal treatments and cures for breast cancer, and focus on the best possible means to end the disease.

Breast Cancer Facts and Figures
In 2024, there will be an estimated 313,510 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women; 2,790 new cases diagnosed in men, and an additional 56,500 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) diagnoses in women. (Siegel et al., 2024)

Breast Self-Exam (BSE)
The evidence does not support efforts to promote and teach BSE on a population-wide level in any age group of women. If a woman wishes to be taught BSE, she should be informed of the potential risks and benefits.

Women need more information on the potential risks and benefits of taking tamoxifen, raloxifene and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer risk reduction. There is no current evidence that these drugs prevent breast cancer; some studies suggest that they may reduce the chance that a woman will get breast cancer during a certain period of time. NBCC urges physicians to prescribe chemoprevention drugs cautiously and responsibly.

Clinical Trials Diversity 
NBCC’s Statement on Clinical Trials Diversity lays out a set of principles to ensure diversity and generalizability of trial results to individuals representative of the disease being studied.

Core Values for Breast Cancer Research
NBCC believes it is critical that research be designed and implemented to effect significant change in how breast cancer is understood, prevented, and treated. There are eight core values for breast cancer research that facilitate progress and improvement for individuals with or at risk for breast cancer. These core values are: integrity, impact, accountability, respect, beneficence, justice, shared decision-making, and flexibility. These values must serve as guiding principles for any breast cancer effort.

Genetic Testing for Inherited Predisposition to Breast Cancer
Few benefits, many limitations: A genetic test for breast cancer should only be utilized with full consideration of its limitations and implications. Genetic testing cannot cure or prevent breast cancer, and it cannot accurately predict whether an individual woman will or will not develop breast cancer.

Mammography for Breast Cancer Screening: Harm/Benefit Analysis
Screening mammography of all women has demonstrated only a modest, if any, benefit in reducing breast cancer mortality and is associated with harms that may outweigh those benefits.