Who Gets Breast Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014, statistics have been compiled on the sex, age and race/ethnicity of breast cancer patients.


Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. women, accounting for 29 percent of newly diagnosed cancers. Men are generally at low risk for developing breast cancer; however, they should report any change in their breasts to a physician.


Breast cancer incidence and death rates generally increase with age.  Seventy-nine percent of new cases and 88 percent of breast cancer deaths occurred in women 50 years of age and older.

During 2006-2010, the median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis was 61. This means that half of women who developed breast cancer were 61 years of age or younger at the time of diagnosis.

A woman living in the U.S. has a 12.3 percent, or a one in eight, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. In the 1970s, the lifetime risk was one in 11.


Breast cancer incidence rates are higher in non-Hispanic white women than African American women for most age groups. However, African American women have a higher incidence rate before age 40 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.

Asian/Pacific Islander women have the lowest incidence and death rates of breast cancer.