Overview

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

We also provide below a table showing its incidence 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.

There are different stages of breast cancer and each stage has a story to tell about the progression or severity of the cancer. It starts as a growth in situ (stage 0) and may invade the neighboring breast tissue, which may then spread to the neighboring lymph nodes (regional metastasis) or distally to the organs of the body (distant metastasis). Women with cancer of the breast die from it when the is widespread metastasis.

Figures

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

Breast cancer survival rates

  • The 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 diagnosed women are alive after 5 years after being first diagnosed. This means the 5-year survival rate 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).
  • 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 survivors are alive today who were diagnosed in the last five years.

All these figures are showing more increasing trends in developing countries than in developed countries.

Mortality rates

  • 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.
  • It 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.
  • It ranks fifth as the cause of death worldwide.
  • Globally, this cancer kills one woman every 75 seconds.
  • In 2008, it 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