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Table 3. Probability of Developing Invasive Breast Cancer Among Womena

a Based on an analysis of data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry for 2005-2007.[2]
b Women who are free from invasive breast cancer at their current age.
c Number of women in 1,000 who would develop invasive breast cancer in the next period of time.
Current Age in YearsbRisk per 1,000 Womenc
in 10 years in 20 years in 30 years Lifetime
304 1741 123
401437 68 120
50245686 109
6034 6786 91

In 2011, an estimated 39,520 women will die of breast cancer, compared with about 71,340 women who will die of lung cancer.[1] Approximately one in six women diagnosed with breast cancer dies of the breast cancer, while nearly all women with lung cancer die of lung cancer.

Breast cancer mortality increases with age. For a 40-year-old woman without a breast cancer diagnosis, the chance of dying from breast cancer within the next 10 years is extremely small, but for a woman older than 65 years, it is about 1% (see Table 4). Women older than 70 years have an even higher risk of dying of breast cancer, but they are even more likely to die of other causes.[5]

Table 4. Mortality Risk According to Age: Breast Cancer and All Causesa

a Adapted from Schwartz, Woloshin, and Welch.[6]
For Women Aged:Chance of Dying of Breast Cancer in the Next 10 Years per 1,000 Women Chance of Dying From Any Cause in the Next 10 Years per 1,000 Women
40-44 321
45-49 4 33
50-54 6 51
55-59 7 81
60-64 8 120
65-69 10 180
70-74 11 270
75-79 12 410
80-84 12 670
85+ 11 790

Other Risk Factors

Additional risk factors include a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer (particularly first-degree relatives, on either the mother's or father's side); early age at menarche and late age at first birth (reflecting estrogen exposure); and a history of breast biopsies, especially for proliferative benign breast disease,[7,8] including radial scalloping lesions (a pathologic entity also called radial scars, even though unrelated to previous surgeries or scars).[9] The Gail model estimates individual risk over time based on these factors for women aged 40 years or older who receive regular mammography.[10,11,12] (Refer to the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.)

Women with a personal history of invasive breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ, or lobular carcinomain situ have a 0.6% to 1.0% estimated annual risk of developing a new primary breast cancer.[13]


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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