Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. Currently, the average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.
Current year estimates for breast cancer
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2020 are:
- About 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 42,170 women will die from breast cancer.
Trends in breast cancer incidence
In recent years, incidence rates have increased slightly (by 0.3% per year).
Trends in breast cancer deaths
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (only lung cancer kills more women each year). The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 38 (about 2.6%).
Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women. From 2013 to 2017, the death rate decreased by 1.3% per year.
These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.
Breast cancer survivors
At this time there are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.
Survival rates are discussed in Survival Rates for Breast Cancer.