Breast cancer Key Facts
Key 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.
- Download these Key Facts Breast cancer Key Facts
The latest statistics available for breast cancer are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012, and survival 2005-2009. 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.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK.
- The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 8 for women in the UK.
- In the UK in 2011 around 49,900 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, that’s more than 130 women every day.
- Around 350 men in the UK were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.
- Female breast cancer incidence rates in Great Britain have increased by 72% since the mid-1970s.
- In the last ten years, female breast cancer incidence rates in the UK have increased by 7%.
- Around 8 in 10 breast cancers are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over.
- In the UK in financial year 2009/10 the NHS breast screening programmes detected around 16,500 cases of breast cancer.
- In Europe, more than 464,000 new cases of breast cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is sixth highest in Europe.
- Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 1.68 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
Read more in-depth breast cancer incidence statistics.
section reviewed 29/05/14
section updated 29/05/14
- Breast cancer survival rates have been improving for forty years. More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before.
- In the 1970s around 5 out of 10 women with breast cancer survived the disease beyond five years. Now it's more than 8 out of 10.
- Women diagnosed with breast cancer are now twice as likely to survive their disease for at least ten years than those diagnosed forty years ago.
- More than three-quarters of women diagnosed with breast cancer now survive their disease for at least ten years or more.
- Almost 2 out of 3 women 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 22/02/13
section updated 02/10/12
- In 2012 in the UK around 11,600 women died from breast cancer, that's around 32 every day.
- Around 75 men died from breast cancer in the UK in 2012.
- In 2012 in the UK around 1,200 deaths from breast cancer occurred in women aged under 50.
- Since peaking in the mid-1980s, female breast cancer death rates have fallen by 40% in the UK.
- In the last ten years female death rates for breast cancer in the UK have fallen by around a fifth.
- In the UK breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women after lung cancer.
- Around three-quarters of breast cancer deaths in the UK are in women aged 60 and over.
- In Europe, more than 131,000 women were estimated to have died from breast cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 14th highest in Europe.
- Worldwide it is estimated that around 522,000 women died from breast cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
Read more in-depth breast cancer mortality statistics.
section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/0914
- Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes increase breast cancer risk, although these gene faults are rare and account for a small proportion of cases.
- Women with a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer have almost double the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer themselves.
- Risk increases with the number of first-degree relatives diagnosed with breast cancer, but even so, eight out of nine breast cancers occur in women without a family history of breast cancer.
- Being obese increases risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by up to 30%.
- Around 9% of cases of breast cancer in the UK are linked to excess bodyweight.
- Women currently using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have a 66% increased risk of breast cancer.
- Use of HRT has fallen in the UK in recent years, although around 3% of breast cancer cases in the UK each year are linked to its use.
- The risk of breast cancer in current users of oral contraceptives (OC) is increased by around a quarter but only 1% of all the breast cancer cases in the UK each year are linked to OC use.
- Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer - and risk increases the more someone drinks. Around 3,100 cases of breast cancer in the UK each year are linked to alcohol consumption.
- A more active lifestyle reduces breast cancer risk. Around 1,700 cases of breast cancer in the UK each year are linked to being physically inactive.
Read more in-depth breast cancer risk factors.
section reviewed 22/02/13
section updated 10/05/12
|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 survival rate2||-||95.8%||-||England||2005-2009|
|Five-year survival rate2||-||85.1%||-|
|Ten-year survival rate2||-||77%||-||England & Wales||2007 (predicted)|
|Twenty-year survival rate2||-||64%||-||England & Wales||2001-2003 (predicted)|
1. European age-standardised 2. Adults diagnosed 3. Latest statistics available
section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14
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