Chances of having a breast cancer diagnosis, and relative mortality rates
Risk of breast cancer increases substantially when women enters her 40’s, which is why breast cancer screening every year to 18 months is recommended at that age. The table below demonstrates the relative risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during successive 10 year spans. As expected, there is a noticeable jump in the diagnosis rate when a woman turns 40, and increases at approximately the same rate thereafter. However, the relative mortality rates from breast cancer are somewhat the opposite. The risk of mortality from breast cancer is very low for women in their 40’s, and increases by about 0.3% each successive decade.
I just want to let you know that this page is a little it short, and somewhat a little out-dated. However, I have re-made a couple new pages with more up-to-date information on Breast Cancer Rates and Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
|10-year age group||Probability of new cases, and estimated chance number||Relative mortality risk and estimated chance number|
|breast cancer||all causes|
|30-39||.44%||1 in 229||–||–||–|
|40-49||1.46%||1 in 68||.35%||1 in 291||2.7%||1 in 39|
|50-59||2.73%||1 in 37||.65%||1 in 155||6.6%||1 in 16|
|60-69||3.82%||1 in 26||.9%||1 in 112||15%||1 in 7|
|70-79||–||–||1.15%||1 in 87||34%||1 in 3|
The five year breast cancer survival rate is fairly consistent across all age groups
The five year relative survival from breast cancer as demonstrated in a recent Canadian study remains rather consistent throughout most age groups. Women in their 40’s through 70’s average about an 80% to 85% five year survival after breast cancer diagnosis. Women in their 80’s and 90’s tend to survive breast cancer beyond five years about 78% of the time. However, younger women, (in the 15 year to 39 year range) are actually less likely to survive beyond five years, with a survival rate of about 73%.
This would not seem to be logical, as younger women would tend to be a little stronger physically. The explanation may be that because it is quite rare for a younger women to develop a breast lump, the doctors might tend, statistically, to consider it a benign mass and let time pass before examining deeper. Because of the delay in breast cancer diagnosis, the cancer is allowed to grow. A younger woman’s ovaries also produce more hormones, which ends up causing faster tumor growth. Younger women also have pregnancies, which can interrupt their chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Global differences in breast cancer mortality are most likely due to stage at time of diagnosis
It has been suggested that when diagnosis and survival rates are compared in different parts of the world, the main factor effecting mortality is simply having a more advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. Overall, the breast cancer survival rates across all ages is about 80% in North America, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and Australia, but less than 60% in countries like Brazil and Slovakia. The breast cancer survival rate across the UK is slightly less than the European and North American average, at between 70% and 79%. In Canada, the five year survival rate for breast cancer is estimated at about 86%, and has actually increased by about 25% since 1986.
There is often a ‘bimodal’ survival pattern for breast cancer
Some studies have demonstrated a ‘bimodal‘ survival pattern for breast cancer. Death due to breast cancer is most likely in the first year or two after diagnosis, then stable for a while. The risk of death then increases between the 7th and 8th years after diagnosis, with about a 1% increased risk of mortality each year after that.
For further reading, I suggest you visit a couple pages regarding survival, rates, and more… Visit this page to know about the percentage of survival for breast cancer, visit this page for number of breast cancer and dcis cases diagnosed per year, visit this page to know about the survival statistics for the most and least aggressive breast cancers, and visit this page for breast cancer screening results from Canada, UK and the US.
Below are a couple common Q&A…
- What factors increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer? The strongest risk factor for breast cancer is age. A woman’s risk of developing this disease increases as she gets older. The risk of breast cancer, however, is not the same for all women in a given age group. Research has shown that women with the following risk factors have an increased chance of developing breast cancer as well: Genetic alterations (changes), mammographic breast density, family history, personal history of breast cancer, certain breast changes found on a biopsy, radiation therapy, alcohol, reproductive and menstrual history, long term use of menopausal hormone therapy, DES, body weight, physical activity level, as well as race.
- Ellison LF, Gibbons L, and the Canadian Cancer Survival Analysis Group. Five year relative survival from prostate, breast, colorectal and lung cancer. Health Reports (2001);13(1):1-12.
- Howlader N, Ries LA, Mariotto AB, Reichman ME, Ruhl J, Cronin KA. Improved estimates of cancer-specific survival rates from population-based data. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 Oct 20;102(20):1584-98. Epub 2010 Oct 11.
- Yildirim E, Dalgic T, Berberoglu U. Prognostic significance of young age in breast cancer. J Surg Oncol (2000);74:267-72.
- Wingo PA, Gloeckler Ries LA, Parker SL, et al. Long-term cancer patient survival in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev (1998);7:271-82.
- Coleman, MP. Quaresma, M. Berrino, F. et al Cancer survival in five continents: a worldwide population-based study (CONCORD) The Lancet Oncology 2008; 9:730
- Thomson, CS. Hole, DJ. Twelves, CJ. Brewster, DH. Black, RJ. Prognostic factors in women with breast cancer: distribution by socioeconomic status and effect on differences in survival J Epidemiol Community Health 2001; 55:308-15
- Verbeek AL, Hendriks JH, Holland R, et al.: Reduction of breast cancer mortality through mass screening with modern mammography. First results of the Nijmegen project, 1975-1981. Lancet 1 (1984). (8388): 1222-4,
- Sant, M., Gatta, G., Micheli, A., Verdecchia, A., Capocaccia, R., Crosignani, P., Berrino, F. Survival and age at diagnosis of breast cancer in a population-based cancer registry. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology (August 1991) Volume 27, Issue 8, 1, Pages 981-984
- Anderson, WF., Jatoi, I., Devesa., S. Distinct breast cancer incidence and prognostic patterns in the NCI’s SEER program: suggesting a possible link between etiology and outcome.Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (Sept. 2005)
Volume 90, Number 2, 127-137,
- 3.Bryant HE, Brasher PMA. Risks and probabilities of breast cancer: Short-term versus lifetime probabilities. Can Med Assoc J 1994:150(2):211-16.