Breast Cancer - Metastatic: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with 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 268,670 (266,120 women and 2,550 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 5% 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 41,400 people (40,920 women and 480 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 20%.

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. People should talk with their doctor if they have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's (ACS) publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2018 and the ACS website.

The next section in this guide is Risk Factors. It explains 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.