Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012 (second most common cancer overall). This represents about 12% of all new cancer cases and 25% of all cancers in women.
Breast cancer is hormone related, and the factors that modify the risk of this cancer when diagnosed premenopausally and when diagnosed (much more commonly) postmenopausally are not the same.
The Continuous Update Project Panel judged that for premenopausal breast cancer there was convincing evidence that consuming alcoholic drinks increases the risk of this cancer and lactation protects against it. Adult attained height and greater birth weight are probably causes of this cancer and body fatness probably protects against this cancer.
The Panel judged that for postmenopausal breast cancer there was convincing evidence that consuming alcoholic drinks, body fatness and adult attained height increase the risk of this cancer and lactation protects against it. Abdominal fatness and adult weight gain are probably causes of this cancer and physical activity probably protects against it.
Stats on preventing breast cancer
Preventability estimates show that about 22% of cases of breast cancer in Brazil can be prevented by not drinking alcohol, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.
The countries with the top 20 highest incidence of breast cancer in 2012 are given in the table below.
Belgium had the highest rate of breast cancer, followed by Denmark and France.
Slightly more cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in less developed countries (53%).
The highest incidence of breast cancer was in Northern America and Oceania; and the lowest incidence in Asia and Africa.
Age-Standardised Rate per 100,000 (World)
United States of America
Stats on breast cancer survivors
The top 20 countries with the most breast cancer survivors are provided in the table below. The statistics are for 2012 and show the number of breast cancer survivors who were alive five years after diagnosis. The order in which the countries are ranked is based on the number of breast cancer survivors per 100,000 adult women in each country.
Belgium had the highest proportion of breast cancer survivors still alive five years after their diagnosis, followed by Denmark and France.
In more developed countries, there were 3.2 million women who had survived breast cancer for at least 5 years; the figure for less developed countries was 3.0 million.
The highest proportion of breast cancer survivors still alive five years after their diagnosis was in Northern America and Europe; and the lowest incidence in Africa and Asia.
Number of women still alive five years after a breast cancer diagnosis
United States of America
Source: Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, Parkin DM, Forman D, Bray, F. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.1, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2014. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed on 16/01/2015.