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 Breast Cancer Statistics

Please help us save lives through vital breast cancer research

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and its cause is unknown. We truly believe that every dollar Canadians donate to research brings us one step closer to discovering the causes of breast cancer, better methods to prevent and detect it, treatments that are more effective and improving the quality of life for survivors.

In 2017, estimated 26,300 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 will die from it.

...approximately 72 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.

...approximately 14 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day. 

...1 in 98women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime (age 90) and 1 in 29 will die from it. is expected that 230 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 60 will die from it. 

 Thanks to improvements in screening, detection and treatment the 5 year survival rate for men is 79% and 87% for women. Research is making a difference!

Noteworthy Trend: Breast cancer death rates have declined in every age group since the mid 1980s. This is most likely due to increased awareness, organized breast screening programs and improvements in treatment. 

 Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Many factors can impact a woman's risk of getting breast cancer, however if you have identified one or two risks please don't assume you will get breast cancer. Some women who have more than one breast cancer risk never develop breast cancer, and many women (approx 70%) had no risk factors at all.

Factors which have consistently found to increase your risk of breast cancer:

  • Being a women - approx. 99% of breast cancers occur in women
  • Age - risk increases as you get older
  • Having a personal breast cancer history
  • Having a close relative (s) with breast cancer
  • Early menstruation (before age 12)
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy
  • Delayed childbirth (having a first baby after the age of 30 or never having had a baby)
  • Being overweight after menopause, based on your BMI (body mass index)

Factors which have been less consistently found to increase breast cancer risk:

  • Drinking alcohol - recommendations for cancer control suggest that women drink less than one drink per day
  • Breastfeed- studies are showing that the longer you breastfeed the greater the protection
  • Being physically inactive - exercising for at least 30 minutes, five days per week may help maintain overall health
  • Smoking tobacco and breathing second-hand smoke - increases a woman's chance of developing several types of cancer including breast cancer


Source: Canadian Cancer Society
Updated 11/2016

The Breast Cancer Society of Canada is a tax-exempt and registered charity (charitable registration number 137969861R0001).