The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is a grassroots organization dedicated to ending breast cancer through action and advocacy. The following are a few statistics that speak to the need to end this deadly disease.
In 2020 there were 685,000 deaths from breast cancer globally. (WHO, 2021).
In 2023, it is estimated that 43,170 women and 530 men will die of breast cancer. (Siegel et al., 2023).
Excluding basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers and carcinomas in situ, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the U.S.
In 2023, there will be an estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women; 2,800 new cases diagnosed in men, and an additional 55,720 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) diagnoses in women. (Siegel et al., 2023)
Note: These statistics do not account for the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, annual incidence counts of lobular carcinoma in situ are no longer measured following its removal from the 2017 edition of the AJCC breast cancer staging program.
In the United States, a woman’s lifetime risk of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer has increased since 1975. (ACS, 2022; Feuer et al., 1993)
2017-2019: 1 in 8 (12.9%)
1975-1977: 1 in 11 (9.1%)
Incidence By Age
Older women are more likely to get invasive breast cancer than younger women. From 2015-2019, the median age of a breast cancer diagnosis was 62 years of age. (ACS, 2022)
Progress in reducing breast cancer mortality has slowed in recent years, from 2% to 3% annually during the 1990s and 2000s to 1% annually from 2011 to 2020. (ACS, 2022)
While the breast cancer mortality rate has declined, the number of women and men who die each year is rising and will continue to rise as the aging population grows.
Mortality By Age
From 2016-2020, the median age at death from breast cancer was 70 years of age. (NCI, 2022)
Despite a similar incidence, mortality from breast cancer among Black women is 40% higher compared with White women. (Siegel et al., 2023; ACS, 2022)
The risk of local and distant (metastatic) recurrence varies greatly based on many factors. Estimates of long-term cumulative risk range from about 5% to 60%, with most falling between 10%-30%. Furthermore, recurrence risk remains elevated more than 3 decades from the primary diagnosis. (Saphner et al., 1996; Colleoni et al., 2016; Pan et al., 2017; Pedersen et al., 2022)
As of January 2022, there were an estimated >4 million women living with a history of breast cancer in the U.S.. (Miller et al., 2022)
It is estimated that in 2018, 140,230 women in the U.S. were living with metastatic breast cancer. By 2025, this number is expected to increase to 169,347. (Gallicchio et al., 2022).
Only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary. The strongest risks for breast cancer are age and being assigned female at birth.
Other non-modifiable risk factors include: (ACS, 2023; CDC, 2022; CDC, 2022)
Risk factors that are potentially modifiable include:
The diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) was rare before 1980, but the widespread adoption of screening mammography led to a massive increase in DCIS diagnosis. From 1980-2000, women aged 20-49 experienced a 400% increase in DCIS diagnoses, and women over the age of 50 experienced over a 900% increase in diagnosis. (NCI, 2000-2019)
Overdiagnosis of breast cancer (i.e., cancer that would never become a problem) by screening mammography is difficult to determine, with most credible estimates ranging from 11%-22%. False positive and false negative mammography results are also possible. Over a 10-year period, more than half of women getting an annual mammogram will receive a false-positive result. (Ryser et al., 2022; Nelson et al., 2016; ACS, 2023, Hubbard et al., 2011).
The current methods of treatment in use in the U.S. are:
NBCC acknowledges that breast cancer impacts people of all gender identities.