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Abstract

In this article, the American Cancer Society provides an overview of female breast cancer statistics in the United States, including trends in incidence, mortality, survival, and screening. Approximately 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,520 breast cancer deaths are expected to occur among US women in 2011. Breast cancer incidence rates were stable among all racial/ethnic groups from 2004 to 2008. Breast cancer death rates have been declining since the early 1990s for all women except American Indians/Alaska Natives, among whom rates have remained stable. Disparities in breast cancer death rates are evident by state, socioeconomic status, and race/ethnicity. While significant declines in mortality rates were observed for 36 states and the District of Columbia over the past 10 years, rates for 14 states remained level. Analyses by county-level poverty rates showed that the decrease in mortality rates began later and was slower among women residing in poor areas. As a result, the highest breast cancer death rates shifted from the affluent areas to the poor areas in the early 1990s. Screening rates continue to be lower in poor women compared with non-poor women, despite much progress in increasing mammography utilization. In 2008, 51.4% of poor women had undergone a screening mammogram in the past 2 years compared with 72.8% of non-poor women. Encouraging patients aged 40 years and older to have annual mammography and a clinical breast examination is the single most important step that clinicians can take to reduce suffering and death from breast cancer. Clinicians should also ensure that patients at high risk of breast cancer are identified and offered appropriate screening and follow-up. Continued progress in the control of breast cancer will require sustained and increased efforts to provide high-quality screening, diagnosis, and treatment to all segments of the population. CA Cancer J Clin 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.