Breast Cancer Fact Sheet


  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women — a little more than 12% — will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2013, an estimated 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed, along with 64,640 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer (also known as carcinoma in situ). About 39,520 women were expected to die in 2013 from breast cancer, though there has been a decrease in death rates since 1989, with larger decreases in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advancements, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
  • For women in the United States, breast cancer death rates are higher than death rates for any other type of cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers diagnosed in women are breast cancers.
  • White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer.
  • In 2013, there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This figure includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member who has been diagnosed with it.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be caused by inherited gene mutations (abnormal changes passed through families).
  • Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% risk of developing breast cancer before age 70, often at a younger age than it typically develops. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Source: American Cancer Society

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