How common is breast cancer?

Tejas V. Raiyani, MD
Internal Medicine
Breast cancer is very common; there are almost 230,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed every year, says Tejas Raiyani, MD. Watch this video to learn more about breast cancer.
Cary Hsu, MD
Cary Hsu, MD on behalf of UCLA Health
In the United States, breast cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in women, which accounts for 27% of all cancer diagnoses. It’s the second leading cause of death from cancer. Trends show that the incidence of breast cancer has been increasing over the last 20 to 30 years.
Your risk of developing invasive breast cancer at some time during your lifetime is a little less than one in eight (about 12%). This sounds high, but if you consider the term "lifetime," it helps put your risk in perspective. It means that one in 233 women in their 30s will be diagnosed with breast cancer; one in 69 in their 40s; one in 36 in their 50s; and one in 27 in their 60s. The "one in eight" applies to women in their 80s and 90s. However, as you can see, your risk for developing breast cancer increases with age. In fact, other than your gender, age is the single greatest risk factor for breast cancer.
According to the American Cancer Association, it is estimated that the chance of developing cancer  is 1 in 8 for women (12.38%) and 1 in 781 for men (0.13%). The chances of dying from breast cancer is 1 in 36 (2.76%) for women and 1 in 3142 (0.03%) for men. Annual of incidence of breast cancer has changed with screening guideline and development of new medication, but it remains the one of the most common types of cancer second only to prostate cancer.

Very common. It is estimated that about 300,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Most of these, about 230,000 cases, will be invasive breast cancer while about 65,000 will be non-invasive breast cancer.

By comparison about 230,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

While these statistics seem alarming and make it look as if breast cancer "is everywhere", the statistics don't actually show that. In fact, a woman has about a 1 in 8, or 12.5%, chance of developing breast cancer some time during her life. That means that the vast majority of women will NOT get breast cancer during their lifetimes.


Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. About 1 in 8 women is expected to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2011, 230,480 women and 2,140 men were estimated to have received a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer in the United States.
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, representing one-third of all new cancer diagnoses in women in the United States annually (213,000 cases). Fortunately, earlier diagnosis and a better understanding of the disease leading to more effective, targeted therapies have led to a continued improvement in prognosis and outcome.

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women with accounts for approximately 30% of all new cancer cases in the U.S. By age 80 a woman has approximately a 10-15% chance of developing breast cancer.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Breast cancer is the most common cancer of women. Surprisingly, it is not limited to women: For every one hundred women who get it, so does one man. The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing steadily from one in twenty women in 1960 to one in eight today.
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The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Approximately one out of eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime with some form of breast cancer. There are approximately 190,000 new cases of breast cancer annuallly. Screening mammograms should be performed at the age of 40. Our elective breast surgery patients have baseline mammograms at the age of the 35. All breast tissue should be sent to pathology for diagnosis with exclusion of cancer.

Breast cancer is a common type of cancer in women - only skin cancer is more common, and only lung cancer causes more cancer deaths. Men rarely get breast cancer. In 2009 in the United States, researchers estimated that 192,370 women and 1,910 men would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.