- Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia, with more than 13,600 new cases expected this year – new diagnoses are also expected in 106 men
- More than 2,800 women will die from the disease in a single year – making it one of the leading causes of cancer-related death in females
- One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85
- Getting older is the most common risk factor: about 13% of new cases are among women aged 20-44, 61% in women aged 45-69 and 26% among women over 70. Women of all ages need to understand the importance of finding and treating breast cancer early
- Despite the significant loss of life, survival prospects continue to improve. Over 96% of women will survive at least one year after diagnosis, and almost 87% will survive five years or more – a 15% increase since the 1980s
- Survival is improving due to better detection and improved treatments which are the result of excellent research
- Breast cancer survivors can experience a range of difficulties, ranging from physical limitations to psychosocial problems. These issues are now emerging as new targets for researchers.
Statistics from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare & National Breast Cancer Centre 2006. Breast cancer in Australia: an overview, 2006. Cancer series no. 34. cat. no. CAN 29. Canberra: AIHW