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Breast Cancer Statistics

?Unfortunately, it is estimated that there will be 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer among U.S. women as well as nearly 40,000 breast cancer deaths in the coming year. While the statistics surrounding breast cancer in this country are not especially positive, they can be very important in the overall picture of identifying, understanding and treating breast cancer.
Breast cancer in men is uncommon and only about 400 men die each year from the disease compared to the 40,000 women who will die from it. The survival rates for men are about the same as for women at the same stage of cancer. The rates of breast cancer for American women vary by age, race/ ethnicity and specific populations like the elderly or pregnant women. Breast cancer treatment is the same for both men and women and usually consists of a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other targeted therapies.
New cases of breast cancer in the U.S. increased by about one percent a year from the 1940s until the 1980s, when the incidence of new cases skyrocketed thanks to the introduction of widespread mammography cancer screening that made detection much easier. The incidence of new cases leveled off during the 1990’s and continued to decline into the early 2000s. The slow, but progressive decline is thought to be directly related to a decrease in use of postmenopausal hormones following many studies that showed their use increased the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.  For the remainder of the 2000’s, the incidence of new breast cancer cases has remained relatively stable in the U.S.
Looking at how race and ethnicity affect the rates, although the incidence of breast cancer has increased for both white and black women since the mid-70s, the mortality rates for black women increased more than it did for white women during the same period. Data from the American Cancer Society also shows that white women have the highest incidence of new breast cancers each year, while Asian American and Pacific Islander women enjoy the lowest rates. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for black women, exceeded only by new cases of lung cancer.
Different races and ethnicities have different survival rates for breast cancer. Important factors that can play a role in the difference rates include biologic and genetic differences in tumors, the presence of risk factors, barriers to health care access, and the stage of the breast cancer at the time of diagnosis.
No matter how you slice it, it’s a fact that all women alive today are at risk of developing breast cancer and the two most important risk factors are simply being a female and getting older. The risk of breast cancer increases as women age and until more is known about how to prevent the disease, early detection is the best tool we have to fight against breast cancer mortality.

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