Breast cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of breast cancer each year, 2017-2019 average, UK.

Deaths

Deaths from breast cancer, 2016-2018, UK.

Survival

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

Preventable cases

Breast cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 56,800 new breast cancer cases in the UK every year, that's more than 150 every day (2017-2019).
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer, with around 56,400 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common cancers, with around 390 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • Incidence rates for breast cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2017-2019).
  • Each year around a quarter (24%) of all new breast cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2017-2019).
  • Since the early 1990s, breast cancer incidence rates have increased by around a sixth (18%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a quarter (24%), and rates in males have remained stable (2016-2018).
  • Over the last decade, breast cancer incidence rates have increased by less than a twentieth (3%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by a twentieth (5%), and rates in males have remained stable (2016-2018).
  • See our new Early Diagnosis Data Hub for statistics on stage at diagnosis for breast cancer.
  • The most common specific location for invasive breast cancers in the UK is the upper-outer quadrant of the breast (2016-2018).
  • Breast cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by less than 1% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.
  • There could be around 69,900 new cases of breast cancer every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.
  • Breast cancer incidence rates in England in females are 14% lower in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).
  • Around 3,000 cases of breast cancer each year in England in females are linked with lower deprivation.
  • Incidence rates for breast cancer are lower in the Asian and Black ethnic groups, and in people of mixed or multiple ethnicity, compared with the White ethnic group, in females in England (2013-2017). See our publication Cancer Incidence by Broad Ethnic Group for more details.
  • 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 8,500 new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK every year, that's 23 every day (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 8,400 new cancer cases every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 40 new cancer cases every year (2017-2019).
  • Incidence rates for breast carcinoma in situ in the UK are highest in people aged 65 to 69 (2017-2019).
  • Each year a tenth (10%) of all new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2017-2019).
  • Since the early 1990s, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have tripled (200%) in the UK. Rates in females have around tripled (201%), and rates in males have around doubled (101%) (2016-2018).
  • Over the last decade, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have increased by almost a third (31%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a third (32%), and rates in males have remained stable (2016-2018).
  • The most common specific location for in situ breast carcinomas in the UK is in the cells lining the milk ducts (2016-2018).
  • Incidence rates for breast carcinoma in situ are lower in the Asian ethnic group and in people of mixed or multiple ethnicity, but higher in the Black ethnic group, compared with the White ethnic group, in females in England (2013-2017). See our publication Cancer Incidence by Broad Ethnic Group for more details.
  • Breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates in England in females are 28% lower in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).
  • Around 910 cases of breast carcinoma in situ each year in England in females are linked with lower deprivation.
  • 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 11,500 breast cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 32 every day (2017-2019).
  • Breast cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 7% of all cancer deaths (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, breast cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death, with around 11,400 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, breast cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death, with around 85 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2017-2019).
  • Each year almost half of all breast cancer deaths (48%) in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2017-2019).
  • Since the early 1970s, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by around two-fifths (41%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by almost two-fifths (37%), and rates in males have decreased by more than two-fifths (44%) (2017-2019).
  • Over the last decade, breast cancer mortality rates have decreased by around a sixth (18%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by almost a sixth (16%), and rates in males have remained stable (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer are generally lower in females of non-White minority ethnicity, compared with the White ethnic group, in England and Wales (2017-2019). See the publication Mortality from leading causes of death by ethnic group, England and Wales.
  • Breast cancer mortality rates are projected to fall by 13% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.There could be around around 11,400 deaths of breast cancer every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.
  • 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 3 in 4 (75.9%) women diagnosed with breast cancer in England survive their disease for ten years or more, it is predicted (2013-2017).
  • Around 8 in 10 (80.6%) women in England diagnosed with breast cancer between ages 15-44 survive their disease for ten years or more, compared with almost 6 in 10 (57.1%) women diagnosed aged 75-99 (2013-2017); ten-year survival is highest in women aged 55-64 (87.2%) (2013-2017).
  • Breast cancer survival has doubled in the last 50 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, 4 in 10 (40.0%) women diagnosed with breast cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, by the 2010s it was almost 8 in 10 (78.4%).
  • Almost 9 in 10 (88.4%) women in England diagnosed with breast cancer in the least deprived group survive their disease for five years or more, compared with more than 8 in 10 (82.1%) women in the most deprived group (2016-2020).
  • 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. Further details on cancer survival in Europe can be found on the EUROCARE website.
  • For breast cancer, like other cancer sites, survival trends reflect a combination of changes in treatment and stage distribution. These factors themselves can vary by age, sex and deprivation.
  • Further survival statistics by stage can be found on the Early Diagnosis Data Hub and information on treatments for cancer can be found here.
  • Further one-, five- and ten-year survival statistics can be found on the Cancer Statistics Dashboard.
  • 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 (born in 1961).
  • 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

See the interactive cancer treatment online tool produced by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). This presents, for the first time, population-based statistics on chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical tumour resections in England, by demographic factors and geography.

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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.