Why Give?

2008 Breast Cancer Facts – United States

  • Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women.
  • The most proven and significant risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and getting older.
  • An estimated 182,460 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. during 2008.
  • An estimated 1,990 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in men in the U.S. during 2008.
  • An estimated 40,480 women and 450 men will die from breast cancer in the U.S. during 2008.
  • In the U.S., a woman has a 1 in 8 (12 percent) risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes, and one woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the U.S.
  • The five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught early before it spreads beyond the breast, is now 98 percent (compared to 74 percent in 1982).
  • Approximately 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are due to heredity. The majority of women with breast cancer have no known significant family history or other known risk factors.
  • A woman’s chance of developing breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 95 percent of all breast cancers occur in women 40 years of age and older.
  • Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer in cancer deaths among women.
  • The chance of a woman dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 33 (3 percent).
  • African Americans have the highest death rate from breast cancer of any racial/ethnic group in the U.S.
  • In the United States today, there are nearly 2.5 million breast cancer survivors – the largest group of cancer survivors in the country.


  • One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer knows no boundaries – be it age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location.
  • The greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and growing older.
  • Early detection and effective treatment for breast cancer have been shown to improve survival.
  • Making healthy lifestyle choices may reduce your risk of breast cancer.
  • There are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today.
  • Breast cancer affects more than just the patient–co-survivors (friends, family and co-workers) need support too.

Be Aware. Take Action.

Know your risk.

  • Talk to your family to learn about your family health history.
  • Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer.

Get screened.

  • Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are at higher risk.
  • Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk.
  • Have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years starting at 20, and every year starting at 40.

Know what is normal for you.

  • See your health care provider right away if you notice any of these breast changes:
  • Lump, hard knot or thickening
  • Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • Dimpling or puckering of the skin
  • Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple
  • Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast
  • Nipple discharge that starts suddenly
  • New pain in one spot that doesn’t go away

Make healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Add exercise into your routine
  • Limit alcohol intake