Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. In 2017, it is estimated that 17,586 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer; however it is important to remember that most women survive breast cancer.
Breast cancer in men is rare with the latest statistics recording 144 Australian men diagnosed in 2017.
Breast cancer in 2017
- One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85.
- It is estimated that in 2018, 18,087 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer or approximately 49 each day.
- Approximately 28% of new cancers diagnosed in women in 2017 were breast cancer.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
- A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer increases with age, with the average age of first diagnosis in women being 61 years. 79 per cent of new cases of breast cancer develop in women over the age of 50.
- Approximately 5–10% of breast cancers are due to a strong family history or a known genetic mutation.
- Although generally thought of as a disease affecting women, it is estimated that 148 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. The number of men diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia increased from 61 in 1982 to 113 in 2008.
Breast cancer survival
- Australia has one of the best breast cancer survival rates in the world.
- The five year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 90.1%. Improvements in survival are attributed to earlier detection of breast cancer through regular mammograms, regular self-examinations and improved treatment outcomes for breast cancer.
- The chance of surviving at least 10 years is now 83%.
- In 2012, there were 193,730 individuals alive who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous 31 years.
Breast cancer mortality
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in Australian women, accounting for 14.9 per cent of all cancer deaths in women.
- It is estimated that 3,157 Australian women, and 28 men, will lose their lives to breast cancer in 2018, an average 8 people a day.
- In 2014, there were 2,844 deaths from breast cancer (2,814 women and 30 men) or on average, eight deaths every day.
- In 2007, there were 2,706 deaths from breast cancer (2,680 women and 26 men) or on average, seven deaths every day.
Western Australian statistics
In 2014, 1,737 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Western Australia
- 1,384 in metro areas, 353 in rural areas
- 249 women died from the disease in WA
In 2012, 1608 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Western Australia
- 1284 in metro areas, 324 in rural areas
- 285 women died from the disease in WA
In 2010, 1444 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in Western Australia
- 1163 in metro areas, 280 in rural areas
- 237 women died from the disease in WA
WA trends and projections on incidence
- 2012: 1440 cases
- 2013: 1470 cases
- 2014: 1501 cases
- 2019: 1658 cases
- Cancer Australia
- The Western Australian Cancer Registry
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & Cancer Australia 2012. Breast cancer in Australia: an overview. Cancer series no. 71. Cat. No. CAN 67. Canberra: AIHW.
Breast Cancer Network Australia
Current Breast Cancer Statistics in Australia
Figures are from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017 report, Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 71. Cat. No. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW