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Deaths by breast cancer in the U.S. 1950-2017

The rate of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. has dramatically declined since 1950. As of 2017, the death rate from cancer had dropped from 31.9 to 19.9 per 100,000 population. Cancer is a serious public health issue in the U.S. As of 2017, cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.

Breast cancer incidence

Breast cancer symptoms include lumps or thickening of the breast tissue and may include changes to the skin. Breast cancer is driven by many factors, but age is a known risk factor. Among all age groups, the highest number of invasive breast cancer cases were among those aged 60 to 69. The incidence rate of new breast cancer cases is higher in some ethnicities than others. White, non-Hispanic women had the highest incidence rate of breast cancer, followed by non-Hispanic black women.

Breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer treatments usually involve several methods including surgery, chemotherapy and biological therapy. Types of cancer diagnosed at earlier stages often require fewer treatments. A majority of the early stage breast cancer cases in the U.S. received breast conserving surgery and radiation therapy. Older women typically have higher rates of mastectomy – surgical removal of some or all breast tissue.

Deaths by breast cancer in the U.S. from 1950 to 2017

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

1950 to 2017

Supplementary notes

Data for years not listed in the pdf-version of "Health, United States, 2018" were taken from previous reports.
All rates are age-adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are calculated using the year 2000 standard population. Prior to 2001, age-adjusted rates were calculated using standard million proportions based on rounded population numbers. Starting with 2001 data, unrounded population numbers are used to calculate age-adjusted rates.

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Statistics on "Breast cancer in the U.S."

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