Breast Cancer - Metastatic: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2022

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 290,560 people (287,850 women and 2,710 men) in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, excluding skin cancer. Worldwide, female breast cancer has now surpassed lung cancer as the most commonly diagnosed cancer. An estimated 2,261,419 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020.

In the United States, 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 in the United States. It is estimated that 43,780 people (43,250 women and 530 men) will die from breast cancer this year. Worldwide, female breast cancer is the fifth leading cause of death. In 2020, an estimated 684,996 women across the world died from breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer causes the vast majority of deaths from the disease.

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 29%. 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 a 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. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how metastatic breast cancer is diagnosed or treated from the last 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 2022, the ACS website, and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. (All sources accessed January 2022.)

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