Breast cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. This makes breast cancer the most common cancer among American women.
In 2015, it is estimated that there will be over 230,000 new cases of breast cancer and an estimated 41,000 people will die of this disease. Female breast cancer is most common in middle-aged and older women. Although rare, men can develop breast cancer as well.
Female breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing with the link between the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease in 2002. While breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, the rates have been declining as a result of early detection, better treatment and increased awareness.
At this time there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2015.