Information About Breast Cancer

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Quick Breast Cancer Facts and Statistics

Cancer happens when abnormal cells start to grow out of control. Breast cancer begins when these abnormal cells group into a tumor in the milk ducts or lobules of the breast. If the tumor cells stay in the ducts or lobules, they are called "in situ." If they grow into the normal breast tissue, they are called “invasive.”

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
  • About 40,920 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2018 from breast cancer.
  • For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women.
  • In 2018, it's estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
  • Most breast cancer is found in women who did not have symptoms.
  • In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women.