Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Estimated New Cases in 2021 281,550

% of All New Cancer Cases 14.8%

Estimated Deaths in 2021 43,600

% of All Cancer Deaths 7.2%

5-Year
Relative Survival

90.3% 2011–2017
Year Rate of New Cases — SEER 9 Rate of New Cases — SEER 13 Death Rate — U.S. 5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 9
Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend
1975 105.08 103.34 - - 31.45 31.48 75.32% 74.47%
1976 101.95 102.77 - - 31.80 31.59 74.53% 74.69%
1977 100.79 102.21 - - 32.48 31.70 75.03% 74.91%
1978 100.59 101.65 - - 31.73 31.82 74.47% 75.13%
1979 102.08 101.10 - - 31.21 31.93 74.17% 75.34%
1980 102.24 100.55 - - 31.68 32.04 74.96% 75.56%
1981 106.36 104.54 - - 31.92 32.16 75.65% 75.77%
1982 106.48 108.69 - - 32.19 32.27 76.49% 75.98%
1983 111.11 113.01 - - 32.07 32.39 76.43% 76.19%
1984 116.00 117.50 - - 32.90 32.50 78.25% 77.90%
1985 124.30 122.17 - - 32.98 32.62 78.54% 79.51%
1986 126.86 127.02 - - 32.87 32.73 80.25% 81.01%
1987 134.51 132.07 - - 32.66 32.85 83.30% 82.41%
1988 131.39 131.85 - - 33.20 32.96 84.57% 83.73%
1989 127.29 131.64 - - 33.23 33.08 84.39% 84.30%
1990 131.91 131.42 - - 33.14 33.20 84.69% 84.85%
1991 133.88 131.20 - - 32.69 32.62 85.26% 85.38%
1992 132.13 130.99 130.02 126.88 31.64 32.04 85.86% 85.90%
1993 129.25 130.78 127.27 128.58 31.39 31.48 85.78% 86.40%
1994 131.00 130.56 128.79 130.31 30.92 30.92 86.60% 86.88%
1995 132.79 132.88 131.00 132.06 30.55 30.38 86.84% 87.35%
1996 133.85 135.24 132.21 133.83 29.49 29.37 86.74% 87.80%
1997 138.12 137.65 136.17 135.63 28.21 28.40 88.42% 88.24%
1998 141.49 140.09 139.07 137.45 27.54 27.45 89.56% 88.66%
1999 141.60 142.58 138.66 139.30 26.61 26.94 89.66% 89.07%
2000 136.68 139.35 134.37 136.22 26.64 26.44 90.26% 89.47%
2001 138.96 136.20 135.96 133.21 26.01 25.95 89.55% 89.85%
2002 135.94 133.11 132.97 130.26 25.62 25.47 90.32% 90.22%
2003 127.13 130.10 124.32 127.39 25.27 25.00 89.87% 90.34%
2004 128.43 127.15 125.16 124.57 24.49 24.54 90.08% 90.47%
2005 126.81 127.55 124.60 124.87 24.14 24.08 90.69% 90.59%
2006 126.50 127.95 123.05 125.17 23.56 23.63 90.91% 90.71%
2007 128.51 128.35 126.37 125.47 22.96 23.19 91.30% 90.83%
2008 128.67 128.75 126.52 125.78 22.55 22.76 90.86% 90.95%
2009 131.10 129.15 128.02 126.08 22.24 22.34 91.54% 91.07%
2010 127.28 129.56 123.93 126.39 21.92 21.93 91.07% 91.18%
2011 130.67 129.96 127.46 126.69 21.55 21.52 91.56% 91.29%
2012 130.44 130.37 127.13 127.00 21.28 21.12 91.38% 91.41%
2013 131.37 130.77 127.67 127.30 20.75 20.73 91.84% 91.52%
2014 131.66 131.18 126.71 127.61 20.57 20.52 - 91.63%
2015 132.02 131.59 128.68 127.92 20.34 20.31 - 91.74%
2016 130.98 132.00 127.75 128.23 20.06 20.11 - 91.84%
2017 132.15 132.42 128.62 128.54 19.88 19.90 - 91.95%
2018 133.01 132.83 128.81 128.85 19.73 19.70 - 92.05%

New cases come from SEER 13. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality.
All Races, Females. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

New cases are also referred to as incident cases in other publications. Rates of new cases are also referred to as incidence rates.


Rate of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The rate of new cases of female breast cancer was 129.1 per 100,000 women per year. The death rate was 20.1 per 100,000 women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2014–2018 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 12.9 percent of women will be diagnosed with female breast cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2016–2018 data.

Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2018, there were an estimated 3,676,262 women living with female breast cancer in the United States.

Did You Know? Video Series

Survival Statistics

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Female Breast Cancer?

Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

90.3%

5-Year
Relative Survival

90.3%

Based on data from SEER 18 2011–2017. Gray figures represent those who have died from female breast cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Survival by Stage

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier female breast cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For female breast cancer, 63.1% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year relative survival for localized female breast cancer is 99.0%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Female Breast Cancer
Stage Percent of Cases 5-Year Relative Survival
Localized
Confined to Primary Site
63% 99.0%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
29% 85.8%
Distant
Cancer Has Metastasized
6% 29.0%
Unknown
Unstaged
2% 57.8%

SEER 18 2011–2017, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000

New Cases and Deaths

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, female breast cancer is fairly common.

Rank Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2021
Estimated
Deaths 2021
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 281,550 43,600
2. Prostate Cancer 248,530 34,130
3. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 235,760 131,880
4. Colorectal Cancer 149,500 52,980
5. Melanoma of the Skin 106,110 7,180
6. Bladder Cancer 83,730 17,200
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 81,560 20,720
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 76,080 13,780
9. Uterine Cancer 66,570 12,940
10. Leukemia 61,090 23,660

Female breast cancer represents 14.8% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

14.8%

In 2021, it is estimated that there will be 281,550 new cases of female breast cancer and an estimated 43,600 people will die of this disease.

Who Gets This Cancer?

Female breast cancer is most common in middle-aged and older women. Although rare, men can develop breast cancer as well. The rate of new cases of female breast cancer was 129.1 per 100,000 women per year based on 2014–2018 cases, age-adjusted.

Rate of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Female Breast Cancer
Males
All Races Sex-specific cancer type
White
Black
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaska Native
Hispanic
Non-Hispanic
Females
All Races 129.1
White 131.8
Black 124.7
Asian/Pacific Islander 105.1
American Indian/Alaska Native 81.7
Hispanic 100.3
Non-Hispanic 134.3

SEER 21 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Female Breast Cancer
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 0.0%
20–34 1.9%
35–44 8.2%
45–54 19.2%
55–64 25.6%
65–74 26.0%
75–84 13.7%
>84 5.4%

Female breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

63

SEER 21 2014–2018, All Races, Females

Who Dies From This Cancer?

Overall, female breast cancer survival is good. However, women who are diagnosed at an advanced age may be more likely than younger women to die of the disease. Female breast cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The death rate was 20.1 per 100,000 women per year based on 2014–2018, age-adjusted.

Death Rate per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity: Female Breast Cancer
Males
All Races Sex-specific cancer type
White
Black
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaska Native
Hispanic
Non-Hispanic
Females
All Races 20.1
White 19.6
Black 27.3
Asian/Pacific Islander 11.7
American Indian/Alaska Native 14.8
Hispanic 13.8
Non-Hispanic 20.8

U.S. 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Female Breast Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.0%
20–34 1.0%
35–44 4.5%
45–54 12.0%
55–64 21.5%
65–74 23.8%
75–84 20.0%
>84 17.3%

The percent of female breast cancer deaths is highest among women aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Death

69

U.S. 2014–2018, All Races, Females

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, age-adjusted rates for new female breast cancer cases have been rising on average 0.3% each year over 2009–2018. Age-adjusted death rates have been falling on average 1.4% each year over 2009–2018. 5-year relative survival trends are shown below.

Interactive Statistics with SEER*Explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can...
  • Create custom graphs and tables
  • Download data and images
  • Share links to results

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Explore Additional Female Breast Cancer Statistics

More About This Cancer

Cancer and the Female Breast

Figure: Breast and Adjacent Lymph Nodes

Figure: The female breast along with lymph nodes and vessels. An inset shows a close-up view of the breast with the following parts labeled: lobules, lobe, ducts, nipple, areola, and fat.

Inside a woman's breast are 15 to 20 sections, or lobes. Each lobe is made of many smaller sections called lobules. Fibrous tissue and fat fill the spaces between the lobules and ducts (thin tubes that connect the lobes and nipples). Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast grow out of control and form a growth or tumor. Tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or not cancerous (benign).

Additional Information

Related Stat Facts by Subtype

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about female breast cancer.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within SEER*Explorer.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Female Breast Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse SEER*Explorer. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.

The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in SEER*Explorer. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2021 are projections made by the American Cancer Society (ACS), based on earlier reported data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.