Breast cancer statistics given below are for the whole world. These stats tell you the breast cancer incidence, its survival rate, and mortality rate. Its prevalence has increased to the extent of it now being declared a global epidemic.

We also provide below a table showing the incidence of breast cancer country-wise.

According to the World Health Organization, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 and there were 685 000 deaths worldwide.

Breast cancer starts as a growth in situ (stage 0) and may invade the neighboring breast tissue, may then spread to the neighboring lymph nodes (regional metastasis) or distally to the organs of the body (distant metastasis). Women with breast cancer die from breast cancer that has widespread metastasis.

Breast cancer facts

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall. In 2018, over 2 million new cases were diagnosed.
  • Nearly one out of four cases diagnosed with cancer are breast cancer patients.
  • In other words, breast cancer accounts for 23% of all cancer cases.
  • Half of these are from developed countries.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.
  • The reason breast cancer is more common in the developed world is probably due to breast cancer awareness and early diagnosis. This does not happen in the undeveloped countries where many cases of breast cancer go unnoticed and do not translate into statistics.
  • More than one million women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the world.
  • Every half a minute, a new case of breast cancer is diagnosed in the world.
  • The incidence of breast cancer is high in developed countries and low in less developed countries.
  • The significance of age in breast cancer is seen from the fact that only 5% of breast cancer cases are below the age of 40 years.
  • A woman has a 13% lifetime risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Breast cancer survival rate

  • Breast cancer survival rates indicate the percentage of women who are alive 5 years or more after they were diagnosed.
  • Advances in diagnostic and treatment techniques have significantly improved these survival rates over the years.
  • In western countries, about 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are alive after 5 years since first diagnosed. This means the 5-year survival rate of breast cancer is 90%.
  • The 10-year relative survival rate for non-metastatic invasive breast cancer is 84% (This means 84 out of 100 women are alive 10 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer).
  • The 15-year relative survival rate for invasive breast cancer is 80% (80 out of 100 women are alive after 15 years).
  • About 4.5 million women breast cancer survivors are alive today who were diagnosed in the last five years.

All these breast cancer rates are showing more increasing trends in developing countries than in developed countries.

Breast Cancer Mortality Rate

  • Breast cancer mortality remained more or less the same from the 1930s through to the 1970s.  An increase in survival rate began in the 1980s in countries, which provided early detection investigations and modern treatment options to remove cancerous lesions.
  • Breast cancer is the principal cause of death in women. It accounts for 14% of cancer deaths in women, which translates into 4,10,000 female deaths every year worldwide.
  • Breast cancer ranks fifth as the cause of death worldwide.
  • Globally, breast cancer kills one woman every 75 seconds.
  • In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide.

Breast Cancer Statistics by Country

Below are figures showing the incidence of breast cancer country-wise. The figures indicated are per 100,000. Iceland tops this list of 20 top countries in the world.

Iceland 39.4
Denmark 30.4
Netherlands 28.7
Belgium 28.7
New Zealand 28
Ireland 27.5
Hungary 26.6
England 26
Germany 23.5
Canada 22.6
Czech Republic 22.2
Italy 22
France 21.7
Australia 21.6
Austria 21.5
Norway 21.3
United States 21.2
Luxembourg 21
Spain 19.5
Portugal 19.3

Source: World Health Organization


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