Breast cancer survival statistics

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Survival

Survive breast cancer for 10 or more years, 2013-2017, England

Age

Age that breast cancer survival is highest, 2009-2013, England

 

Improvement

Breast cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years

 

95.8% of females survive breast cancer for at least one year, this falls to 85.0% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with breast cancer during 2013-2017 in England.[1]

Breast Cancer, Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England, 2013-2017

The bar chart shows one- and five-year net survival and predicted ten-year net survival, with 95% confidence intervals. Open a glossary item
 

Breast cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 75.9% of females are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with breast cancer during 2013-2017 in England.[1]

References

  1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019.

About this data

Data is for England, 2013 - 2017, ICD-10 C67.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Last reviewed:

Five-year survival for female breast cancer shows an unusual pattern with age: survival gradually increases from 85% in women aged 15-39 and peaks at 92% in 60-69 year olds; survival falls thereafter, reaching its lowest point of 70% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with breast cancer in England during 2009-2013.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, Women, England, 2009-2013

Last reviewed:

As with most cancers, survival for female breast cancer is improving. One-year age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for breast cancer in women has increased from 82% during 1971-1972 to 96% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference Open a glossary item of 14 percentage points.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Five- and ten-year survival has increased by an even greater amount than one-year survival since the early 1970s. Five-year age-standardised net survival for breast cancer in women has increased from 53% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 87% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 34 percentage points.[1]

Breast Cancer (C50), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales 1971-2011

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year age-standardised net survival for breast cancer in women has increased from 40% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 78% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 38 percentage points.[1] Overall, almost 8 in 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Breast Cancer (C50), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Women (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

References

  1. Data were provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical  Medicine on request, 2014.

About this data

Data is for: England and Wales, 1971-2011, ICD-10 C50

Last reviewed:

Survival for breast cancer is strongly related to stage of the disease at diagnosis.

One-year net survival by stage

One-year net survival for breast cancer is highest for patients diagnosed at Stage 1, and lowest for those diagnosed at Stage 4, as 2013-2017 data for England show.[1] 100% of patients diagnosed at Stage 1 survived their disease for at least one year, compared to 66% of patients diagnosed at Stage 4.[1]

One year net survival for unknown or missing stage is 89%, while one year survival for unstageable cancer is 88%. Lack of staging information may in some cases reflect advanced stage at diagnosis as very unwell patients may not undergo staging tests if the invasiveness of the testing outweighs the potential benefit of obtaining stage information. Incomplete staging assessment may also be associated with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the patient [2]. Stage completeness for breast cancer was 91% in 2013-2017 [1].

There is limited data available to compare breast cancer survival by stage between males and females. One-year net survival in females decreases from 96% at Stage 3 to 66% when diagnosed at Stage 4 (an absolute percentage point difference of 30). [1]

Net survival can be greater than 100% because it accounts for background mortality. Net survival greater than 100% indicates that patients in this group have a better chance of surviving one year after diagnosis compared with the general population.

Breast cancer one-year net survival by stage, with incidence by stage (all data: adults diagnosed 2013-2017, followed up to 2018)

Five-year net survival by stage

Five-year net survival for females decreases from Stage 2 (90%) to Stage 3 (72%). There is also a decrease from Stage 3 to Stage 4 by a difference of 46 percentage points. [1]

Breast cancer five-year net survival by stage, with incidence by stage (all data: adults diagnosed 2013-2017, followed up to 2018)

References

1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019.
2. Girolamo, C. et al, Characteristics of patients with missing information on stage: a population-based study of patients diagnosed with a colon, lung or breast cancer in England in 2013, BMC Cancer (2018) 18:492

About this data

Data is for: England, 2013 - 2017, ICD-10 C50.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival but the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Last reviewed:

Five-year relative survival for breast cancer in women in England (79%) is below the average for Europe (82%). Scotland (79%) and Wales (78%) are also below the European average, but Northern Ireland (82%) is similar to the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in women ranges from 67% (Lithuania) to 87% (Iceland).[1]

Breast Cancer (C50.0-C50.9), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival, Women (Aged 15+), European Countries, 2000-2007

Data consists of both observed and predicted 5-year relative survival. Where sufficient follow-up was not available for recently diagnosed patients the period approach was used to predict 5-year cohort survival.

Possible explanations for persistent international differences in survival include differences in cancer biology, use of diagnostic tests and screening, stage at diagnosis, access to high-quality care, and data collection practices.[1]

References

  1. De Angelis R, Sant M, Coleman MP, et al. Cancer survival in Europe 1999-2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5 - a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2014;15:23-34

About this data

Data is for: 29 European countries, patients diagnosed in 2000-2007 and followed up to 2008, breast cancer (International Classification of Diseases for Oncology [ICD-O-3] C50.0-C50.9).

Last reviewed:

Cancer stats 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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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.