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%
|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|
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.
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.
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%.
|Stage||Percent of Cases||5-Year Relative Survival|
Confined to Primary Site
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
Cancer Has Metastasized
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
|1.||Breast Cancer (Female)||281,550||43,600|
|3.||Lung and Bronchus Cancer||235,760||131,880|
|5.||Melanoma of the Skin||106,110||7,180|
|8.||Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer||76,080||13,780|
Female breast cancer represents 14.8% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.
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.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||81.7|
SEER 21 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of New Cases|
Female breast cancer is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 65–74.
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.
|All Races||Sex-specific cancer type|
|American Indian/Alaska Native|
|American Indian/Alaska Native||14.8|
U.S. 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted
|Age Range||Percent of Deaths|
The percent of female breast cancer deaths is highest among women aged 65–74.
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
- Create custom graphs and tables
- Download data and images
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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: 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).
Related Stat Facts by Subtype
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 SEER*Explorer.
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.