Breast Cancer - Metastatic: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2020

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

This year, an estimated 279,100 people (276,480 women and 2,620 men) in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, excluding skin cancer.

About 6% of women have metastatic breast cancer when they are first diagnosed. More research is needed to determine how many people with non-metastatic breast cancer later develop metastatic breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women. It is estimated that 42,690 people (42,170 women and 520 men) will die from breast cancer this year. Metastatic breast cancer will cause the vast majority of those deaths.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. The 5-year survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer is 27%. The 5-year survival rate for men with metastatic breast cancer is 22%.

It is important to remember that breast cancer is treatable at any stage. Treatments for metastatic breast cancer are continually improving and have been proven to help people with metastatic breast cancer live longer with better quality of life.

In addition, statistics on the survival rates for people with metastatic breast cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2020 (January 2020)the ACS website (January 2020), and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (January 2020).

The  next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains what factors may increase the chance of developing metastatic breast cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.