Breast Cancer: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2018

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 many factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

More women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer, excluding skin cancer. This year, an estimated 266,120 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and 63,960 women will be diagnosed with in situ breast cancer. An estimated 2,550 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

It is estimated that 41,400 deaths (40,920 women and 480 men) from breast cancer will occur this year.

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 average 5-year survival rate for people with breast cancer is 90%. The average 10-year survival rate is 83%.

If the cancer is located only in the breast, the 5-year relative survival rate of people with breast cancer is 99%. Sixty-two percent (62%) of cases are diagnosed at this stage. If the cancer has spread to the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 85%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 27%.

About 5% of women have metastatic cancer when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer. Even if the cancer is found at a more advanced stage, new treatments help many people with breast cancer maintain a good quality of life, at least for time.

It is important to note that these statistics are averages, and each person’s risk depends on many factors, including the size of the tumor, the number of lymph nodes that contain cancer and other features of the tumor that affect how quickly a tumor will grow and how well treatment works.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States, after lung cancer. However, since 1989, the number of women who have died of breast cancer has steadily decreased thanks to early detection and treatment improvements. survival rates for both black women and white women have increased, but are 10% lower for black women.

Currently, there are more than 3 million women living with breast cancer in the United States with breast cancer.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with 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 publication, Cancer Facts & Figures 2018, and the National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by breast cancer. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.