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Nearly 1.4 million women worldwide diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008

Source: GLOBOCAN 2008 http://globocan.iarc.fr

Nearly 1.4 million cases of breast cancer were diagnosed across the world in 2008, compared with about 500 000 cases in 1975. This represents about 11% of all new cancer cases and 23% of all female cancers. It is predicted that the number of cases will rise to 2.1 million by 2030.

Highest rates of breast cancer were in Europe (Northern, Eastern and Southern), Australia and New Zealand, and North America. The lowest rates were in Africa (Middle, Eastern), Asia (Eastern and South-Central) and Central America. The rate in Western Europe was nearly five times higher than that in Eastern Africa.

Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. With more than 450 000 deaths each year, breast cancer accounts for about 14% of all female cancer deaths.

Observed rates of this cancer increase with industrialisation and urbanisation, and also with facilities for early detection. It remains common in high-income countries such as Europe and the USA, but is now increasing rapidly in middle- and low-income countries, including Africa, much of Asia, and Latin America.

For more information about policies and actions directed at preventing cancer at international, national or local levels, please see our policy report Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention.

Age standardised incidence rates for breast cancer in 2008

Women breast cancer worldwide


Cancer statistics