Key Statistics for Breast Cancer

How common is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It is about 30% (or 1 in 3) of all new female cancers each year.

The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2022 are: 

  • About 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. 
  • About 51,400 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will be diagnosed.  
  • About 43,250 women will die from breast cancer.

Breast cancer mainly occurs in middle-aged and older women. The median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is 62. This means half of the women who developed breast cancer are 62 years of age or younger when they are diagnosed.  A very small number of women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 45.

Lifetime chance of getting breast cancer

Overall, 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.

Trends in breast cancer incidence

In recent years, incidence rates have increased by 0.5% 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 39 (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 2018, the death rate went down by 1% 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.

Differences by race and ethnicity

Some variations in breast cancer can be seen between racial and ethnic groups. For example,  

  • The median age of diagnosis is slightly younger for Black women (60 years old) compared to white women 63 years old).
  • Black women have the highest death rate from breast cancer. This is thought to be partially because about 1 in 5 Black women with breast cancer have triple-negative breast cancer  -  more than any other racial/ethnic group.
  • Black women have a higher chance of developing breast cancer before the age of 40 than white women.
  • At every age, Black women are more likely to die from breast cancer than any other race or ethnic group.
  • White and Asian/Pacific Islander women are more likely to be diagnosed with localized breast cancer than Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.  
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest death rate from breast cancer.
  • American Indian/Alaska Natives have the lowest rates of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer survivors

At this time there are more than 3.8 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.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2022. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2022.

American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2019-2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020.

Howlader N, Noone AM, 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, 1975-2018, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2018/, based on November 2020 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2021.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Dying from Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Females, Total US, 2014-2016 (Table 1.19). https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/2016_2018/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf. 2019. Accessed November 5, 2021.

References

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2022. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2022.

American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2019-2020. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2020.

Howlader N, Noone AM, 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, 1975-2018, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2018/, based on November 2020 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2021.

Lifetime Risk (Percent) of Dying from Cancer by Site and Race/Ethnicity: Females, Total US, 2014-2016 (Table 1.19). https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/2016_2018/results_merged/topic_lifetime_risk.pdf. 2019. Accessed November 5, 2021.

Last Revised: January 12, 2022

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