Rates of breast cancer vary among different groups of people. Rates vary between women and men and among people of different ethnicity and ages. They vary around the world and across the U.S.
Screening Mammography Rates
After mammography was shown to be an effective tool to detect breast cancer at early stages of disease progression in the late 1980s, the use of screening mammography in the U.S. quickly increased.
In 1987, 29 percent of women 40 years and older reported having a mammogram within the past two years. By 2000, mammography use increased to 70 percent.**
Since 2000, there has been a slight decline in mammography use for reasons that remain unknown. **
Learn more about how rates of screening mammography vary among different groups of women.
Breast Cancer Incidence
In the 1980s, breast cancer incidence – the volume of breast cancers that were diagnosed – rose greatly (likely due to adoption of screening mammography to detect breast cancers that might not have been detected before), and then leveled off during the 1990s. Since 2004, the incidence of breast cancer has remained stable.*
Washington D.C., Connecticut, and New Hampshire have the highest breast cancer incidence rates. Wyoming has the lowest.**
For maps of breast cancer incidence in the U.S., visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website.
Breast Cancer Mortality
Breast cancer mortality (death) rate in the U.S. increased slowly from 1975 through the 1980s.*
From 1989-2014 (most recent data available), breast cancer mortality decreased by 38 percent (avoiding about 300,000 deaths).**
This decline in mortality is due to improved breast cancer treatment and early detection.** However, with 40,000 women dying from the disease each year in the U.S., Susan G. Komen doesn’t believe that’s good enough – and is why we have announced an aggressive goal to cut in half the number of breast cancer deaths by 2026.
Washington D.C., Louisiana, and Mississippi have the highest breast cancer mortality rates. Hawaii has the lowest.** Research in Colorado has shown that people diagnosed with breast cancer who live in communities with lower household incomes have lower long-term survivorship rates than those from more affluent communities.
For maps of breast cancer mortality in the U.S., visit the NCI website.
How Breast Cancer Affects Different Groups
Black women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall. American Indian/Alaska Native women have the lowest.
The charts below illustrate the difference in incidence and mortality by Race and Ethnicity.***
Learn more about disparities related to breast cancer in Colorado.
Learn more about national breast cancer statistics and disparities.
*American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts and Figures 2015-2016. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2015.
**American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2017. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2017.
***Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., editors. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014. Table 4.18. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/, 2017.