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%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

89.7% 2008-2014
Year New Cases - SEER 9 New Cases - SEER 13 Deaths - U.S. Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9
1975 105.1 - 31.4 75.2%
1976 101.9 - 31.8 74.4%
1977 100.8 - 32.5 74.9%
1978 100.6 - 31.7 74.4%
1979 102.1 - 31.2 74.1%
1980 102.2 - 31.7 74.9%
1981 106.4 - 31.9 75.6%
1982 106.5 - 32.2 76.4%
1983 111.1 - 32.1 76.4%
1984 116.0 - 32.9 78.2%
1985 124.3 - 33.0 78.4%
1986 126.8 - 32.9 80.2%
1987 134.5 - 32.7 83.3%
1988 131.4 - 33.2 84.5%
1989 127.3 - 33.2 84.4%
1990 131.9 - 33.1 84.7%
1991 133.9 - 32.7 85.2%
1992 132.1 130.0 31.6 85.8%
1993 129.2 127.2 31.4 85.7%
1994 131.0 128.8 30.9 86.5%
1995 132.7 130.9 30.6 86.8%
1996 133.8 132.2 29.5 86.7%
1997 138.1 136.2 28.2 88.4%
1998 141.5 139.1 27.5 89.5%
1999 141.5 138.6 26.6 89.5%
2000 136.6 134.3 26.6 90.2%
2001 138.9 135.9 26.0 89.4%
2002 135.9 132.9 25.6 90.2%
2003 127.1 124.3 25.3 89.8%
2004 128.3 125.0 24.5 89.9%
2005 126.7 124.5 24.1 90.5%
2006 126.4 123.0 23.6 90.8%
2007 128.3 126.2 23.0 91.2%
2008 128.5 126.4 22.6 90.7%
2009 131.0 127.9 22.2 91.3%
2010 127.1 123.7 21.9 90.9%
2011 130.5 127.2 21.5 -
2012 130.2 126.7 21.3 -
2013 131.0 127.1 20.7 -
2014 131.2 126.1 20.6 -
2015 131.1 127.4 20.3 -

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.

Did You Know? Video Series

Survival Statistics

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.

89.7%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

89.7%

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.

Additional Information

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%.

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
62% 98.7%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
31% 85.3%
Distant
Cancer has Metastasized
6% 27.0%
Unknown
Unstaged
2% 54.5%

SEER 18 2008-2014, All Races, Females by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

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
Cases 2018
Estimated
Deaths 2018
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 266,120 40,920
2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 234,030 154,050
3. Prostate Cancer 164,690 29,430
4. Colorectal Cancer 140,250 50,630
5. Melanoma of the Skin 91,270 9,320
6. Bladder Cancer 81,190 17,240
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 74,680 19,910
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 65,340 14,970
9. Uterine Cancer 63,230 11,350
10. Leukemia 60,300 24,370

Female breast cancer represents 15.3% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

15.3%

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.

Number 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 126.0
White 128.6
Black 126.9
Asian/Pacific Islander 100.6
American Indian/Alaska Native 82.6
Hispanic 93.7
Non-Hispanic 131.6

SEER 18 2011-2015, 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 8.6%
45-54 20.4%
55-64 25.9%
65-74 24.1%
75-84 13.6%
>84 5.5%

Female breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55-64.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

62

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.

Number of Deaths 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 20.9
White 20.3
Black 28.7
Asian/Pacific Islander 11.4
American Indian/Alaska Native 14.3
Hispanic 14.3
Non-Hispanic 21.6

U.S. 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Female Breast Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.0%
20-34 0.9%
35-44 4.7%
45-54 13.3%
55-64 22.0%
65-74 22.4%
75-84 19.7%
>84 16.9%

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

Median Age
At Death

68

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.

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

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:

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.

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 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.