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Breast cancer Key Stats

Breast Stats DoughnutKey messages on incidence, survival, mortality, risk factors (causes) and a summary table of the statistics for breast cancer are given here. Also discussed is screening.

More comprehensive information and statistics for breast cancer is here: incidence, survival, mortality, risk factors (causes) and screening.

The latest statistics available for breast cancer are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012, and survival 2010-2011. Source years are specified in the statistics table. Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

The statistics on this page are for invasive breast cancer only. Statistics for in situ breast carcinoma (a non-invasive tumour of the breast) are also available.

 

How common is breast cancer?

Read more in-depth breast cancer incidence statistics.

section reviewed 29/05/14
section updated 29/05/14

 

How many people die from breast cancer?

Read more in-depth breast cancer mortality statistics.

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/0914

 

How many people survive breast cancer?

  • Breast cancer survival figures have been improving for forty years. More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before.
  • In the 1970s, just over half of women with breast cancer survived the disease beyond five years. Now it's more than 8 in 10.
  • Women diagnosed with breast cancer are now twice as likely to survive their disease for at least ten years, compared with those diagnosed forty years ago.
  • Almost 8 in 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer now survive their disease for at least ten years.
  • Almost 2 in 3 women diagnosed with breast cancer now survive their disease beyond 20 years.
  • More than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage survive their disease for at least five years. This figure is around 15% for those women who are diagnosed with the most advanced stage disease.

Read more in-depth breast cancer survival statistics.

section reviewed 27/11/14
section updated 27/11/14

 

What causes breast cancer?

  • A person’s risk of developing breast cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics (including BRCA gene mutations), and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Oestrogen exposure is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for breast cancer. Some other factors may relate to breast cancer risk partly because they are related to oestrogen levels.
  • An estimated 27% of female breast cancers in the UK are linked to lifestyle factors including overweight and obesity (9%), alcohol (6%), and certain occupational exposures (5%).
  • Oral contraceptives, some types of hormone replacement therapy, ionising radiation, and diethylstilbestrol use in pregnancy cause breast cancer.
  • Breastfeeding and physical activity protect against breast cancer (breastfeeding each child for less than 6 months, and physical inactivity, are each linked to an estimated 3% of female breast cancer cases in the UK).
  • Smoking, certain medical conditions, total dietary fat, and being taller may relate to higher breast cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth breast cancer risk factors.

section reviewed 27/11/14
section updated 27/11/14

Breast cancer statistics table

BREAST CANCER STATISTICS Males Females Persons Country Year3
Number of new cases per year 349 49,936 50,285 UK 2011
Incidence rate per 100,000 population1 1.1 125.1 -
Number of deaths per year 73 11,643 11,716 UK 2012
Mortality rate per 100,000 population1 0.2 24.0 -
One-year net survival2 - 96.0% - England & Wales 2010-2011
Five-year net survival2 - 86.6% - 2010-2011 (predicted)
Ten-year net survival2 - 78.4% -
Twenty-year net survival2 - 64% - 2001-2003 (predicted)

1. European age-standardised    2. Adults diagnosed    3. Latest statistics available

More detailed breast cancer statistics can be found using these links: incidence, survival, mortality, risk factors and screening.

section reviewed 27/11/14
section updated 27/11/14

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Updated: 27 November 2014