Women and Breast Cancer

Women and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer causes more than 450,000 deaths each year.1 It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women2 and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women.3 If detected early, when the cancer is localized in the breast, five-year survival statistics are approximately 98%.4 

  • 1.4 million women globally are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.5
  • By 2020, there will be over 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer annually.5
  • In 2009, breast cancer resulted in an economic burden of $28.4 billion.5


Breast cancer forms in the ducts and in the lobules for the breast.3,5,6 Many breast cancers can be estrogen-, progesterone-, or HER-2/neu-positive, which causes the cancer to grow. HER-2/neu positivity is associated with more-aggressive disease, decreased overall survival, and a higher probability of recurrence.6,7


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1GLOBOCAN Cancer Fact Sheets: Breast Cancer [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 29] Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr/factsheet.asp

2Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Apr 16] Available from: http://www.who.int/cancer/detection/breastcancer/en/index1.html

3Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®) [Internet]. National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. [cited 2013 Mar 29] Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/screening/breast/Patient/page2

4Cancer of the Breast – SEER Fast Fact Sheets [Internet]. [cited 2013 Apr 16] Available from: http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html

5Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 29] Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast

6National Cancer Institute. What You Need to Know About™ Breast Cancer. Internet Edition. August 2012.

7Slamon DJ, et al. Science. 1987;235:177.