Statistics at a Glance
At a Glance
Estimated New Cases in 2018 266,120
% of All New Cancer Cases 15.3%
Estimated Deaths in 2018 40,920
% of All Cancer Deaths 6.7%
|Year||New Cases - SEER 9||New Cases - SEER 13||Deaths - U.S.||Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9|
Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of female breast cancer was 126.0 per 100,000 women per year. The number of deaths was 20.9 per 100,000 women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2011-2015 cases and deaths.
Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 12.4 percent of women will be diagnosed with female breast cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2013-2015 data.
Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2015, there were an estimated 3,418,124 women living with female breast cancer in the United States.
How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Female Breast Cancer?
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. 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.
Based on data from SEER 18 2008-2014. 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, 62.1% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized female breast cancer is 98.7%.
|Stage||Percent of Cases||5-Year Relative Survival|
Confined to Primary Site
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
Cancer has Metastasized
SEER 18 2008-2014, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000
Number of 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
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||266,120||40,920|
|2.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||234,030||154,050|
|5.||Melanoma of the Skin||91,270||9,320|
|8.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||65,340||14,970|
Female breast cancer represents 15.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
In 2018, it is estimated that there will be 266,120 new cases of female breast cancer and an estimated 40,920 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 number of new cases of female breast cancer was 126.0 per 100,000 women per year based on 2011-2015 cases.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||82.6|
SEER 18 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of New Cases|
Female breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55-64.
SEER 18 2011-2015, 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 number of deaths was 20.9 per 100,000 women per year based on 2011-2015.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||14.3|
U.S. 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of Deaths|
The percent of female breast cancer deaths is highest among women aged 65-74.
U.S. 2011-2015, All Races, Females
Trends in Rates
Changes Over Time
Keeping track of the number 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, rates for new female breast cancer cases have been rising on average 0.3% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.8% each year over 2006-2015. 5-year survival trends are shown below.
New cases come from SEER 9 Incidence. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality. 1975-2015, All Races, Females. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
SEER 9 5-Year Relative Survival Percent from 1975-2010, All Races, Females.View Data Table
More About This Cancer
Cancer and the Female Breast
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).
Here are some resources for learning more about female breast cancer.
- About risk factors for breast cancer
- About breast cancer screening
- About symptoms and diagnosis of breast cancer
- About treatment options for breast cancer
- About clinical trials
- About breast cancer prevention
- About cancer prevention
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:
Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.
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 the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. 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 the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past 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.