As the lifetime risk of breast cancer has increased, early detection methods have become integral in identifying tumors before symptoms develop. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS):
- A woman currently living in the U.S. has a 12 percent, or 1 in 8, lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer – compared to a 1 in 11 risk in the 1970s.
- Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most treatable.
- Mammography screening can detect tumors 1 to 3 years before they would have been detected if allowed to grow until symptoms develop.
Knowledge of personal risk factors and early screening are the first steps towards a higher probability of survival.
- Women diagnosed at early stages have a higher five-year relative survival rate. According to the ACS, five-year relative survival ranges from 99 percent for localized disease (confined to the breast) to 23 percent for distant-stage disease (spread to other organs).
- From 1990 to 2007, death rates decreased by 3.2 percent per year among women younger than 50 and by 2 percent per year for women 50 and older. This decline has been attributed to improvements in treatment and early detection.
Learn about your risk factors now.
Take Our FREE Health Risk Assessment
Breast cancer risk estimates only available for women ages 35 to 85. Women younger than 35 and older than 85 will receive information about important risk factors to watch, but not risk estimates.