5 Facts – Breast Cancer


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This deadly disease is one of the main causes of death among women worldwide. This Fact Friday, we share some important information about breast cancer.

  1. There are several types of breast cancer, but some of them are quite rare. In some cases a single breast tumor can be a combination of these types or be a mixture of invasive and in situ cancer.
  2. The chance of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime is nearly one in eight, or about 12 per cent.
  3. Men get breast cancer, too! Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year
  4. In the United States, breast cancer incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women and are lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women. In contrast, breast cancer death rates are highest for African American women, followed by white women. Breast cancer death rates are lowest for Asian/Pacific Islander women. See table below.
  5. Breast cancer is the leading cancer in Jamaican women:
    • It accounts for 29.4 per cent of all cancers in Jamaican women.
    • Every year, for every 100,000 women in Jamaica, 43 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed.
    • There is a lifetime risk of one in 21 or, for every 21 women in Jamaica, one will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
    • The analysis by age group shows that breast cancer is the number one cancer even among younger women.
    • In the 25-59 age group, breast cancer is the leading cancer, and accounts for 36.9 per cent of all cancers.
    • In the 60-74 age group, breast cancer is the leading cancer, and accounts for 25 per cent of all cancers.
    • In women aged 75 years or older, breast cancer is the leading cancer, and accounts for 23.1 per cent of all cancers.

Click on the table below to read the Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014 report from the American Cancer Society.


Do you know the risk factors and treatment and preventative measures for breast cancer? Find more information, along with inspiring stories of survival, in The Gleaner’s special Breast Cancer Awareness pages. Also, visit the Jamaica Cancer Society website.