October ~ National Breast Cancer Awareness ~ Facts About Breast Cancer in the United States: 2007

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Scates Realty & Investment Properties, Inc.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is a grassroots organization dedicated to ending breast cancer through action and advocacy. NBCC members are committed to reaching this difficult goal. Following are some statistics that speak to the need to end this deadly disease:

  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. This risk was about 1 in 11 in 1975.
  • More women in the United States are living with breast cancer than any other cancer (excluding skin cancer). Approximately 3 million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer: about 2.3 million have been diagnosed with the disease and an estimated 1 million do not yet know they have the disease.
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States and worldwide (excluding skin cancer). In 2007, it is estimated that 240,510 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in the United States: 178,480 invasive breast cancers and 62,030 cases of in situ breast cancer (of which, 85% will be ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)).1
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S, after lung cancer. Approximately 40,460 women in the U.S. will die from the disease in 2007. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for U.S. women between the ages of 20 and 59, and the leading cause of cancer death for women worldwide.
  • Approximately 11% of women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer die from the disease within five years; at ten years, 20% will have died. The most recent available statistics show that 40% of all women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer died from the disease within 20 years.2
  • Older women are much more likely to get breast cancer than younger women. Most breast cancers (about 80%) occur in women ages 50 and older. About 5% of all breast cancer cases occur in women under the age of 40. However, younger women who get breast cancer have a lower survival rate than older women who get breast cancer.
  • Combining all age groups, white (non-Hispanic) women are more likely to develop breast cancer than black women. However, black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.
  • Black women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate at every age, and a lower survival rate than white women.3 The five-year survival rate for white women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer is 90% while the five-year survival rate for black women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer is only 77%.
  • Between 1994 and 2003, the mortality rate for women of all races combined declined by 2.4% annually. In white women, breast cancer mortality declined by 2.5% annually. In black women, mortality declined by 1.4% annually during the same period.4
  • Mortality has declined faster for women under the age of 50 (by 3.3% annually), regardless of race/ethnicity.
  • The current methods of treatment in use in the United States are surgery (mastectomy and lumpectomy), radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and biologic therapy (e.g. monoclonal antibody therapy).
  • Mammography screening does not prevent or cure breast cancer. However, it may detect the disease before symptoms occur. Breast cancer tumors can exist for six to ten years before they grow large enough to be detected by mammography.
  • Mammography is less effective in younger women. In the overall population, digital mammography does not perform better than traditional film mammography. However, among younger women, digital mammography has been reported to detect more breast cancers than film mammography. There are no studies to establish whether screening with digital mammography decreases breast cancer mortality.
  • All women are at risk for breast cancer. Only 5-10% have inherited a mutation in the known breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2).
  • Factors that increase a woman's risk of breast cancer include older age, genetic factors, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, long menstrual history, nulliparity (having no children), older than 30 years of age at first full-term pregnancy, daily alcohol consumption, use of combined postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT), postmenopausal obesity, and ionizing radiation. Factors that decrease a woman's risk of breast cancer include breast-feeding and physical activity (exercise).
  • Recently, higher breast density has been show to be strongly associated with the risk of breast cancer. It was found that breast cancer rate was almost four times greater in those with extremely dense breast tissue as opposed to those with fatty breast tissue. It is important to remember that since mammography is less sensitive in detecting breast cancer for dense breasts, the effect of breast density may be somewhat underestimated.
  • Although scientists have discovered some risk factors for breast cancer, the known risk factors account for only a small percentage (~30%) of breast cancer cases. There are few interventions with limited value that reduce risk, and none of them prevent breast cancer.

Just in case ... sources & info are included.  Still SOOOooo many myths out there check out www.nbcam.com as well for lots of great info  .



1In 2007, approximately 2,030 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States. Approximately 450 men in the U.S. will die from the disease.

2This statistic was obtained by studying women who were diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years ago. It is impossible to know what the 20-year breast cancer survival rate will be for women diagnosed today.

3Mortality rate is the proportion of people who die of a disease in a population at risk during a specific time period. Survival rate is the proportion of people diagnosed with a disease who live for a specific period of time. For example, a five-year cancer survival rate is the proportion of cancer patients who are still alive 5 years after the diagnosis of their cancer.

4Mortality trends have only been analyzed up to 2003.


American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2007. Atlanta, GA, 2007.

American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2005-2006. Atlanta, GA, 2005.

Barlow WE, White E, Ballard-Barbash R, et al. Prospective Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Model for Women Undergoing Screening Mammography. J of NCI. 2006;98:1204-1214.

Feuer EJ, Wun LM, Boring CC, et al. The Lifetime Risk of Developing Breast Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993 Jun 2; 85(11): 892-7.

National Cancer Institute. Probability of breast cancer in American women. Updated October 2006. Fact Sheet 5.6.

Pisano ED, Gatsonis C, Hendrick E, et al. Diagnostic performance of digital versus film mammography for breast-cancer screening. New Engl J Med 2005 Oct 27; 353(17): 1773-83.

Ries LAG, Harkins D, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2003. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, 2006.

Ries LAG, Eisner MP, Kosary CL, et al. (eds). SEER Fast Stats: Breast Cancer 1994-2003. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, 2006.

Russell M. Ezilon Infobase. Breast Cancer: Facts and Figures. 2006.

Comments (5)

Todd and Danielle Millar
Glenn Simon Inc. - Edmonton, AB
Nineteen years of excellence!

Eileen - great and very important post. I recently saw this slideshow on MSN very informative .


Oct 02, 2007 06:12 PM
Find a Notary Public needAnotary
QEC Internet Services - Long Beach, CA

It is Pink for October and I guess we'll have to wait until next year to Navy Blue for Prostate Cancer Awareness.   Hopefully men can find an organization to promote Prostate Cancer Awareness.  I think I'll write a letter to the NFL since they are promoting Breast Cancer this month. We need to rid the world of all forms of cancer in our lifetimes.  


I'm  just curious are cures seriously being developed or are organizations responsible for research just milking patrons.  If a cure is found, why would we need to continue to make pledges and contributions.  In fact these organization would have to die or change their focus.  Either their financial coffers will suffer as they build up the awareness for the next cause.  I sometimes a feel a little concern that these organization can be self-serving.

Oct 13, 2007 08:14 AM
Find a Notary Public needAnotary
QEC Internet Services - Long Beach, CA


Typo for the word breast in the caption.



Oct 13, 2007 08:16 AM
jeffrey dach md

October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an advertising campaign for national mammography screening.

An eminent radiologist, Leonard Berlin MD says this message fails to disclose the limitations of screening mammography, namely that mammography will miss 30-70% of breast cancers, and leads to over diagnosis and over treatment.

Why do we have a 4 billion dollar breast cancer screening undustry, and lung cancer screening which was tried and abandoned?  Even the invention of the Chest CAT scan has failed to revive lung cancer screening.

The reason is that the same limitations for lung cancer screening apply to breast cancer screeening.  Missed cancers, overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Dr. Berlin says disclosures should be mandated, just like the cigarette and drug warnings that appear on their ads.

Dr. Berlin also points out that 57% of the American women believe that mammograms prevent breast cancer, a misleading message from Breast Awareness Month.

Mammograms are designed to detect cancer, not prevent it. Thinking that a mammogram can prevent breast cancer is like thinking that checking your house annually for broken windows prevents robberies.

Click here for the entire article:


The Untold Message of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by Jeffrey Dach MD

Jeffrey Dach MD
4700 Sheridan Suite T
Hollywood Fl 33021
954 983 1443

Nov 04, 2007 10:05 AM
Joyce Heffner-Williams
Keller Williams Clients' Choice Realty - Monument, CO
Owner/Broker/EcoBroker - Monument Real Estate
Take a look at my post and click to help fight breast cancer...

Help Fight Breast Cancer with a Click of the Mouse (literally)...
Jan 09, 2008 03:44 AM