About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime (about 13%).
In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
About 39,840 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer.
Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers are breast cancer.
For women in the U.S., the death rate from breast cancer is higher than from any other cancer besides lung cancer.
A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.
Compared to African American women, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer, but less likely to die of it. One possible reason is that African American women tend to have more aggressive tumors, although why this is the case is not known. Women of other ethnic backgrounds: Asian, Hispanic, and Native American have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer than white women and African American women.
About 90% of breast cancers are NOT due to heredity, but to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general.
Only about 5-10% of breast cancers are caused by gene mutations inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with these mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and they often are diagnosed at a younger age (before age 50). An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. Men with a BRCA1 mutation have a 1% risk of developing breast cancer by age 70 and a 6% risk when they have a BRCA2 mutation.
Men can also develop breast cancer. About 1,970 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in 2010.
The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
As of 2010, there are about 2.5 million women in the U.S. who have survived breast cancer.