Breast cancer incidence (invasive) statistics

Cases

New cases of breast cancer, 2013, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage breast cancer is of total cancer cases, 2013, UK

 

Age

Age that almost half of females breast cancer cases are diagnosed, 2011-2013, UK

 

Breast cancer incidence rates have changed differently for each sex since the late 1970s, GB

 

Breast cancer has been the most common cancer in the UK since 1997, despite the fact that it is rare in males. It is by far the most common cancer among females in the UK (2013), accounting for 31% of all new cases of cancer in females.[1-4]

In 2013, there were 53,696 new cases of breast cancer in the UK: 53,252 (99%) in females and 344 (1%) in males, giving a female:male ratio of 155:1.[1-4] The crude incidence rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 164 new breast cancer cases for every 100,000 females in the UK, and 1 for every 100,000 males.

European age-standardised incidence rates Open a glossary item (AS rates) are significantly lower in Northern Ireland compared with England, Wales and Scotland (females only). Rates do not differ significantly between the other constituent countries of the UK for males or females. Scotland is the only nation in the UK where breast cancer is not the most common cancer overall; there lung cancer is more common.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2013

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 291 12 32 9 344
Crude Rate 1.1 0.8 1.2 1.0 1.1
AS Rate 1.3 1.1 1.5 1.5 1.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 1.2 0.5 1.0 0.5 1.2
AS Rate - 95% UCL 1.5 1.7 2.0 2.4 1.5
Female Cases 44,540 2,840 4,678 1,294 53,352
Crude Rate 163.0 181.2 170.7 138.8 163.8
AS Rate 169.8 175.4 169.3 154.6 169.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 168.2 169.0 164.4 146.1 168.2
AS Rate - 95% UCL 171.3 181.9 174.1 163.0 171.1

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and AS rate Open a glossary item title upper confidence limits around the AS Rate
 
ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.
 

Breast cancer incidence rates throughout the UK vary only moderately between most cancer networks, but there are notably higher rates in parts of the Midlands and north west Scotland, and lower rates in parts of London.[5,6]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp#605
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=51358
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. NCIN. Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Cancer Network, UK, 2005. London: NCIN; 2008.
  6. NCIN. Cancer e-Atlas.
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Female breast cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates overall being in older females. In the UK in 2011-2013, on average each year almost half (46%) of female breast cancer cases were diagnosed in females aged 65 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 30-34, level off for females in their 50s, then rise further to age 65-69. Rates drop slightly for females aged 70-74 and then increase steadily to plateau in the 85-89 and 90+ age groups.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, Females, UK, 2011-2013

The age distribution of female breast cancer cases largely reflects the age groups eligible for breast screening in the UK, and the increase in rates with age indicates a link with hormonal factors.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp#605
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=51358
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
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Female breast cancer incidence rates have increased by 64% in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] Most of this increase happened before the 2000s.

European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates increased by 50% between 1979-1981 and 1998-2000, then by 10% between 1998-2000 and 2011-2013.[1-3]

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013), female breast cancer AS incidence rates have increased by 6%, with almost this entire rise occurring before the mid-2000s.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females, UK, 1993-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Female breast cancer incidence trends probably reflect changing prevalence of risk factors, with recent incidence trends influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past. The introduction of the breast screening programmes in the late-1980s also plays a part.

Female breast cancer incidence rates have overall increased for all broad age groups in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] The largest increases have been in females of screening age, with European AS incidence rates almost doubling (97% increase) in females aged 65-69 between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013. Among screening-age females, increases in incidence rates mainly occurred in the period around screening introduction.

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females, by Age, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp#605
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=51358
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
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Staging completeness for breast cancer is moderate in England, with 84% of breast cancers recorded with a known stage at diagnosis in 2013.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, England 2013

More people with a known stage are diagnosed at an early stage (84% diagnosed at stage I or II) than an advanced stage (16% diagnosed at stage III or IV). More than 1 in 20 (6%) people have metastases Open a glossary item at diagnosis (stage IV).[1]

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The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8 for women and around 1 in 870 for men, in 2012 in the UK.[1]

The lifetime risk for breast cancer has been calculated to account for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of breast cancer over the course of their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on data provided by the Office of National Statistics, ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, December 2013 to July 2014.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5.
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The largest proportion of breast cancer cases occur in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast, with much smaller proportions in the upper-inner, lower-outer and lower-inner quadrants, and the central portion of the breast (2010-2012).[1-4]

More than half (51.9%) of cases did not have the specific part of the breast recorded in cancer registry data, or overlapped more than one part.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), Percentage Distribution of Cases Diagnosed By Anatomical Site, Females, UK, 2010-2012

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Europe for females, and the most common cancer overall, with more than 464,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (29% of female cases and 13% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates for breast cancer are in Belgium; the lowest are in Bosnia Herzegovina. UK breast cancer incidence rates are estimated to be the 6th highest in Europe.[1] These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.[2]

Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide for females, and the 2nd most common cancer overall, with more than 1,676,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (25% of female cases and 12% of the total). Breast cancer incidence rates are highest in Western Europe and lowest in Middle Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.[1]

Variation between countries may reflect different prevalence of risk factors, use of screening, and diagnostic methods.

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al.Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403. 
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There is evidence for a small association between female breast cancer incidence and deprivation in England, with breast cancer being one of the few cancers where incidence rates are lower for more deprived females.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates are 14% lower for females living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, Females, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in breast cancer incidence between females living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010. It has been estimated that there would have been around 1,900 more breast cancer cases each year in England during 2006-2010 if all females experience the same incidence rates as the least deprived.[1]

There is no evidence for an association between breast cancer incidence and deprivation in males in England.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised incidence rates are similar for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, Males, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in breast cancer incidence between males living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010.[1]

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Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White females with breast cancer range from 122.4 to 125.7 per 100,000. Rates for Asian females are significantly lower, ranging from 59.7 to 92.3 per 100,000 and the rates for Black females are also significantly lower, ranging from 68.8 to 107.9 per 100,000.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For female breast cancer, 187,620 cases were identified; 25% had no known ethnicity.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. London: NCIN; 2009.
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In the UK around 296,000 women and around 1,700 men were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 256 1,089 1,732
Female 40,137 175,974 296,037
Persons 40,393 177,063 297,769

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were around 5.19 million women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.[2]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010. 
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
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Male breast cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates overall being in older males. In the UK in 2011-2013, on average each year around half (51%) of cases were diagnosed in males aged 70 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise sharply from around age 50-54 and plateau in the 90+ age group.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, Males, UK, 2011-2013

Male breast cancer incidence rates have remained stable in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] European age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) incidence rates remained stable between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013.

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Males, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013), male breast cancer AS incidence rates have remained stable.[1-4]

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Males, UK, 1993-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Male breast cancer incidence rates have remained stable overall for most age groups in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] The greatest change in incidence rates has been at age 50-59 with rates rising by 53% between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013. Rates in males aged 80+ have fluctuated but overall remained stable since the late 1970s.

Breast Cancer (C50), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Males, by Age, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp#605
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=51358
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010. 
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Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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