888-500-0370 mbcn@mbcn.org

Who Gets Breast Cancer?

  • downloadMedian age of diagnosis: 61 years old (half are younger than 61 and half are older than 61.) [ACS,2011]
  • For men: 1% of the new cases; 1% of the deaths
  • For young women under 40: 5% of the new cases and 3% of the deaths, but is leading cause of cancer deaths in this age group. For young women under 50: 27% of the new cases of breast cancer and 16% of the deaths.
  • By Age Group


Age at diagnosis for women   [SEER, 2011]
Age at diagnosis % of total diagnosed
20-34 1.9
35-44 10.2
45-54 22.6
55-64 24.4
65-74 19.7
75-84 15.5
85+ 5.6


By tumor subtype:download-1

  • An estimated 60-65% ER+/PR+; also called Hormone receptor positive tumor has estrogen and/or progesterone receptors
  • An estimated 20-25% Her2+ tumor overexpresses HER2/neu protein
  • 15-20% TNBC triple negative breast cancer has none of the known receptors(ER ,PR or Her2)protein

NOTE: % by subtype is approximate, since a person may have more that one subtype (e. ER+ and HER2+) or their subtype may change with metastases.

NOTE: 1% of all breast cancer is  Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)

Although tumors may share characteristics of hormonal or HER2+ subtypes, IBC is considered separately because of its unique symptoms, treatment and prognosis.

Who Gets Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Despite early detection and mammograms, people DO get MBC. Accurate statistics are not collected on how many are diagnosed each year with MBC.

We do know that 6% of all new breast cancer diagnosis are Stage IV de novo—meaning the person is metastatic at the very first diagnosis of breast cancer.

Estimates are that 20-30% of those with early stage breast cancer will recur with a metastases at some time in their lives. The risk is highest for those with Stage III, but even those with earlier stages can recur.