About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer where cells in the breast tissue divide and grow without normal control. It is a widespread and random disease, striking women and men of all ages and races. There is no cure for breast cancer, but there is hope. Thanks to heightened awareness, early detection through screening, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before.

In 2012, it is estimated that there were more than 2.9 million women living in the US with a history of invasive breast cancer as on January 1, 2012 and an additional 226,870 women will be diagnosed. The median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is 61 years of age. About 20% of breast cancers occur among women younger than age 50 and about 40% occur in those older than 65 years. The treatment and prognosis for cancer depend on the stage at diagnosis, the biological characteristics of the tumor, and the age and heath of the patient. Overall, 60% of breast cancers are diagnosed at the localized stage. Screening for breast cancer with mammography detects many cancers before a lump can be felt and when they are more likely to be localized stage.

Changes That Should Be Reported Include:

Warning Signs

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure national website, komen.org, offers comprehensive information about breast cancer risk factors, early detection and screening, diagnosis and treatment. Developed in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health, the site offers a one-stop resource for all the latest information on the disease.


Rates of breast cancer vary among different groups of people. Rates vary between women and men and among people of different ethnicities and ages. They vary around the world and across the U.S.

This section provides an overview of breast cancer statistics for many populations.



In 2018, it’s estimated that among U.S. women there will be:

  • 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer, but not recurrences of original breast cancers.)
  • 63,960 new cases of in situ breast cancer (This includes ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Of those, about 83 percent will be DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive breast cancer and LCIS is a condition that increases the risk of invasive breast cancer. Learn more about DCISand LCIS.)
  • 40,920 breast cancer deaths


Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen.

In 2018, it’s estimated that among U.S. men there will be:

  • 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancers, but not recurrences of original breast cancers.)
  • 480 breast cancer deaths

Rates of breast cancer incidence (new cases) and mortality (death) are much lower among men than among women.