Thanks to fewer cases, improved treatment, and earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, a woman's risk of dying of breast cancer dropped 39 percent between the late 1980s and 2015 - 300,000 breast cancer deaths were avoided during that time.
Still, there's much more to be done. Breast cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to lung cancer. There is still a large racial gap in mortality, with African-American women having higher death rates compared to whites, even as incidence rates are similar.
The American Cancer Society's estimates for breast cancer in the United States for
About 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women
About 40,920 women will die from breast cancer
While black and white women get breast cancer at roughly the same rate, the mortality rate is 42% higher among black women than white women
At this time, there are more than 3.1 million people with a history of breast cancer in the United States. (This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment.)
Alcohol consumption increases the risk of breast cancer in women by about 7%-10% for each one drink of alcohol consumed per day on average. Women who have 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day have a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers.
Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Risk is about 1.5 times higher in overweight women and about 2 times higher in obese women than in lean women.
Growing evidence suggests that women who get regular physical activity have a 10%-25% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who are inactive, with stronger evidence for postmenopausal than premenopausal women.
Research shows that smoking may slightly increase breast cancer risk, particularly long-term, heavy smoking and among women who start smoking before their first pregnancy.
If you or someone you love are concerned about developing breast cancer, have been recently diagnosed, are going through treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, the American Cancer Society provides
important information on these topics