Key figures and prevalence of breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and is the second most common cancer in the UK, only surpassed by non melonoma skin cancer.


Roughly 49,900 women and 350 men in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Statistically 1 in 8 women develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetime.

Breast cancer statistics

The incidence rate of breast cancer has been increasing with 72 % since the 1970's and the UK holds the 6th highest rate in Europe. Even though the incidence rate has gone significantly up since the 70's, fortunately so has the survival rate. In the 70's 5 out of 10 women would live more than five years after the diagnosis. Today more than 8 out of 10 women survive beyond 5 years and almost 2 out of 3 survive the disease beyond 20 years.

In 2011 roughly 11,700 women died from breast cancer. Of these, 1,200 were under the age of 50, but in general three quarters of breast cancer fatalities are over 60 years of age. Although annual number is high, the death rate is constantly dropping. Since the 1980's the death rate has decreased with 40% in the UK.

Last updated: 11/11/2017

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