Breast Cancer Statistics
Age-Based Probability of Breast CancerThe estimated probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer for specific age groups and for specific time periods is generally more informative than lifetime probabilities. Estimates by decade of life are less influenced by changes in life expectancy and incidence rates. The SEER (Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results) report estimates the risk of developing breast cancer in 10-year age intervals. These calculations factor in the proportion of women who live to each age. In other words, they take into account that not all women live to older ages, when breast cancer risk becomes the greatest.
A woman's chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer is:
- From age 30 through age 39 . . . . . . 0.44 percent (often expressed as "1 in 229")
- From age 40 through age 49 . . . . . . 1.46 percent (often expressed as "1 in 68")
- From age 50 through age 59 . . . . . . 2.73 percent (often expressed as "1 in 37")
- From age 60 through age 69 . . . . . . 3.82 percent (often expressed as "1 in 26")
These probabilities are averages for the whole population. An individual woman's breast cancer risk may be higher or lower, depending on a number of factors, including her family history, reproductive history, race/ethnicity, and other factors that are not yet fully understood.
Mortality RatesFrom 1998 to 2003, the median age at death for breast cancer was 69 years of age. The percentages of people who died from breast cancer based on age were:
- 0.0 percent died under age 20
- 1.1 percent between 20 and 34
- 6.6 percent between 35 and 44
- 15.4 percent between 45 and 54
- 18.6 percent between 55 and 64
- 20.5 percent between 65 and 74
- 23.1 percent between 75 and 84
- 14.7 percent 85+ years of age.
(Click Breast Cancer Prognosis for more information.)