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Key Statistics For Breast Cancer

October  29,  2015 in

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancer. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
  • The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer for 2015 are:
    • About 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
    • About 60,290 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
    • About 40,290 will die from breast cancer.
    • After increasing for more than 2 decades, female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000, then dropped by about 7% from 2002 to 2003. This large decrease was thought to be due to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women’s Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. In recent years, incidence rates have been stable in white women, but have increased slightly in African American women.
    • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
    • At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment).
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. On average, women with a BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the risk is 45%. Breast cancer that is positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations tends to develop more often in younger women. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, BRCA2 mutations are associated with a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 6.8%; BRCA1 mutations are a less frequent cause of breast cancer in men.
  • About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
  • There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States.

 

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