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Facts About Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer – the most common cancer among women, excluding skin cancer – is the leading cause of cancer death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.
  • About 77 percent of women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer are over the age of 50.
  • One out of every eight women in the United States is at risk of developing breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, and 1 out of every 28 women is at risk of dying from breast cancer.
  • In women of all age groups, white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women. However, of all women younger than 45, African-American women are more likely to develop breast cancer than White women.
  • Low-income, African-American women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease than high-income women.
  • Increased use of mammography has resulted in breast cancers being found earlier in their development when they are smaller and at less advanced stages.
  • In the 1940s, only 72 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer survived for five years. Today, the five-year survival rate from localized breast cancer has increased to 97 percent.
  • After continuously increasing for more than two decades, female breast cancer incidence rates leveled off from 2001-2003.