Breast cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of invasive breast cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK

Deaths

Deaths from breast cancer, 2015-2017, UK.

Survival

Survive breast cancer for 10 or more years (females only), 2010-11, England and Wales

Preventable cases

Breast cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 55,200 new breast cancer cases in the UK every year, that's around 150 every day (2014-2016).
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases (2016).
  • In females in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer, with around 54,500 new cases in 2016.
  • In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common cancers, with around 360 new cases in 2016.
  • Incidence rates for breast cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1990s, breast cancer incidence rates have increased by around a fifth (19%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a quarter (24%), and rates in males have remained stable.
  • Over the last decade, breast cancer incidence rates have increased by around a twentieth (4%) in the UK. Rates in males have remained stable, and rates in females have increased by around a twentieth (6%).
  • More than 1 in 10 breast cancer cases are diagnosed late in England (2014), Scotland (2014-2015) and Northern Ireland (2010-2014).
  • Most invasive breast cancers occur in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast.
  • Incidence rates for breast cancer are projected to rise by 2% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 210 cases per 100,000 females by 2035.
  • Breast cancer in England is less common in females living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for males.
  • Breast cancer is more common in White females than in Asian or Black females.
  • An estimated 491,300 women who had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth breast cancer incidence (invasive) statistics

  • There are around 8,000 new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK every year, that's 22 every day (2014-2016).
  • In females in the UK, there were around 8,100 new cases in 2016.
  • In males in the UK, there were around 20 new cases in 2016.
  • Incidence rates for breast carcinoma in situ in the UK are highest in people aged 65 to 69 (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1990s, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have almost tripled (193%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by almost three times (194%), and rates in males have increased by almost three-quarters (73%).
  • Over the last decade, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have increased by two-fifths (40%) in the UK. Rates in males have remained stable, and rates in females have increased by around two-fifths (41%).
  • Most in situ breast carcinomas are intraductal.
  • In situ breast carcinoma is more common in White females than in Asian or Black females.
  • An estimated 63,800 women who had previously been diagnosed with in situ breast carcinoma were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth in situ breast carcinoma incidence statistics

  • There are around 11,400 breast cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 31 every day (2015-2017).
  • Breast cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 7% of all cancer deaths (2017).
  • In females in the UK, breast cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death, with around 11,400 deaths in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death, with around 80 deaths in 2017.
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1970s, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost two-fifths (39%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by more than a third (35%), and rates in males have decreased by almost half (45%).
  • Over the last decade, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by around a fifth (21%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by around a fifth (19%), and rates in males have decreased by more than a quarter (27%).
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer are projected to fall by 26% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 31 deaths per 100,000 females by 2035.
  • Breast cancer deaths in England are more common in females living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for males.

See more in-depth breast cancer mortality statistics

  • Around two-thirds (65%) of women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for twenty years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost 8 in 10 (78%) women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Around 95% (96%) of women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Breast cancer survival in England is highest for women diagnosed aged 60-69, probably because of screening, and less favourable tumour characteristics in younger women (2009-2013).
  • Around 9 in 10 women in England diagnosed with breast cancer between ages 40-69 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 7 in 10 women diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, 4 in 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's around 8 in 10.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, around all women with breast cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 3 in 20 women when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
  • Five-year relative survival for breast cancer in women is below the European average in England, Wales and Scotland but similar to the European average in Northern Ireland.

See more in-depth breast cancer survival statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 1 in 7 UK females will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • 23% of breast cancer cases in the UK are preventable.
  • Less than 1% of breast cancer cases in the UK are caused by oral contraceptives.
  • 2% of breast cancer cases in the UK are caused by post-menopausal hormones.
  • 8% of breast cancer cases in the UK are caused by overweight and obesity.
  • 8% of breast cancer cases in the UK are caused by alcohol drinking.
  • 5% of breast cancer cases in the UK are caused by not breastfeeding.

See more in-depth breast cancer risk statistics

  • 'Two-week wait' is the most common route to diagnosing breast cancer.
  • Screening is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for breast cancer.
  • 'Two-week wait' standards are met by all countries, '31-day wait' is met by all but Wales, and ‘62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales for breast cancer.
  • 81% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 63% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have radiotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 34% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have chemotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • Around three-quarters (74%) of women in the UK who are invited for breast screening are screened with a definitive usable result within 6 months of invitation.
  • Breast screening uptake in the UK has fallen slightly since 2010/11.
  • Less than 1 per 100 screened women in the UK have cancer detected through breast screening. Around 8 in 10 of these are invasive cancers.
  • For every breast cancer death prevented through screening, 3 women will be overdiagnosed.

See more in-depth breast cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.