What’s the Breast Cancer Survival Rate?

Victoria Burke by Victoria Burke | Licensed since 2011
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This article was updated on: 09/15/2018

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You might be interested in learning about breast cancer survival rates – especially if this disease affects you or a loved one.

The National Institutes of Health estimates that, in 2017:

  • 252,710 women have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • 40,610 women will die from this cancer.
  • The breast cancer survival rate is well above 80%.
  • Breast cancer accounts for about 15% of all new cancer cases.
  • Breast cancer accounts for about 7% of deaths from all types of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) reported that the five-year breast cancer survival rate was 89.7% between 2007 and 2013.

“Breast cancer survival rate:” what does this mean?

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), researchers compare the number of people who survive after a cancer diagnosis with the number of people of the same age, race, and gender who were not diagnosed with cancer. Please note that looking at breast cancer survival statistics can’t predict what might happen with you or a loved one – no two patients are exactly alike, notes the NCI.

The overall breast cancer rate

The number of women in the United States who are diagnosed with breast cancer is about 124 people per 100,000, or .12%, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The National Institutes of Health reported that as of 2014, over 3.3 million women in the U.S. were living with breast cancer.

What’s the breast cancer survival rate for different stages of the disease?

The American Cancer Society says that in general, the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the breast cancer survival rate. Here are five-year survival rates reported by the National Cancer Institute (2007-2013):

  • Stage 0 or I: nearly 100%
  • Stage II: around 93%
  • Stage III: around 72%
  • Stage IV: around 22%

What’s the breast cancer survival rate among different races?

The good news is that the breast cancer survival rate for black women and white women – who have the highest rates of this cancer – have been increasing steadily. This is according to a CDC study that ran from 2009 to 2014.

Breast cancer affects white women and black women more often than other races in the U.S., the CDC reports. The breast cancer rate for white women is slightly higher than for black women, followed by Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women. American Indian/Alaska native women have the lowest breast cancer rate in the country.

Although the breast cancer rate for white women and black women is almost the same, the breast cancer survival rate for black women is significantly lower. About 28 per 100,000 black women die from breast cancer, compared with about 20 white women per 100,000.

What’s the breast cancer survival rate in different age groups?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that overall, breast cancer survival rates are fairly high (a 2014 study showed that only about 21 per 100,000 women died from this cancer). Women between the ages of 55 and 64 have the lowest breast cancer survival rate. About 22% of women in this age group die from cancer, the NCI stated.

While the annual numbers of new cases of breast cancer haven’t changed much in recent years, the five-year breast cancer survival rates have steadily increased. A study tracking breast cancer deaths from 2005 to 2014 showed the death rate decreased almost 2% per year, the NCI reported.

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