According to the National Cancer Institute, there were about 2,899,726 U.S. women living with breast cancer in 2011. And about 12.3 percent of women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

Statistics are based on people treated over decades, and survival rates can help determine treatment. The relative survival rate compares people with breast cancer to those who have never had it. A five-year survival rate describes the percentage of people with breast cancer who are alive at least five years after diagnosis. A lot of those people will live for many more years.

Survival Rates by Breast Cancer Stage

The stages of breast cancer relate to how far the cancer has spread. Stage 0 is precancerous. Stage 4 is metastatic breast cancer, meaning it has spread to one or more other parts of the body. Generally the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the higher the chances for survival.

5 year Survival Rates for Women5 year Survival Rates for Men


The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 232,670 new cases of breast cancer among U.S. women in 2014. Approximately 2,360 men will be diagnosed. About 40,000 women and 430 men are predicted to die from breast cancer in 2014.

But there is good news. The five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer has been increasing since 1980.

5 year survival rate women

Source: National Cancer Institute

Survival Rates by Age

Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age. The average age of death from breast cancer is 68.

Female Breast Cancer Deaths by Age 2006-20105 year relative survival rate

Source: National Cancer Institute

Women under age 40 are much less likely to develop breast cancer. But the five-year relative survival rate is lower than it is for women over 40. Younger women are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive types of breast cancer that tend to spread faster and are more likely to recur.

Survival Rates by Country

Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women around the world. A study published in Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention estimated 458,000 breast cancer deaths in 2008. Mortality rates have been on the rise in some Eastern European and Asian countries. Latin American and African countries are also experiencing rising rates. Higher mortality rates may be due to delayed diagnosis and lack of treatment.

These are survival rates from around the world:

5 year relative survival rate

Source: American Cancer Society

Other Factors That Affect Survival Rates

Some types of breast cancer are more aggressive than others. Five-year survival rates tend to be lower for women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). TNBC is more likely to spread and recur, especially in the first three to five years. After five years, that risk declines compared to that of other types of breast cancer. According to, one study showed a five-year survival rate of 77 percent.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is another aggressive type of breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate from 1988 through 2001 was 34 percent.

Race may also play a role. Non-Hispanic white women are diagnosed at a higher rate than African-American women are. But African-American women are more likely to be diagnosed before age 40. In every age group, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than other groups.

Deaths per 100K people by race and ethnicity

Source: National Cancer Institute


If you’re newly diagnosed, keep in mind that survival rates are only general statistics. They may not reflect the fact that methods to diagnose and treat breast cancer are improving all the time. And everyone is different. Your personal outlook depends on many factors, so talk to your doctor about your prognosis to get a better idea of what to expect.