Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, except for skin cancers. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is a little less than 1 in 8 (12%).
The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2011:
After increasing for more than two decades, female breast cancer incidence rates decreased by about 2% per year from 1998 to 2007. This decrease was seen only in women aged 50 or older, and may be due at least in part to the decline in use of hormone therapy after menopause that occurred after the results of the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. This study linked the use of hormone therapy to an increased risk of breast cancer and heart diseases.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. The chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death is about 1 in 35 (about 3%). Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. These decreases are believed to be the result of earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment.
At this time there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
Content from www.cancer.org, October 2011