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Carcinoma of the breast is the most common cancer in women in the United
States (32%) and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in
Estimated new cases and deaths from breast cancer (women only) in
the United States in 2005:
- New cases: 211,240.
- Deaths: 40,410.
The lifetime risk for women of being diagnosed with breast cancer
is currently about 1 in 8.
Breast cancer is relatively uncommon in men; the female-to-male
ratio is approximately 100:1.
The risk of developing breast cancer increases with
age. Only about 0.8% of breast cancers occur in women < 30 years old
and approximately 6.5% develop in women between 30 and 40 years old.
Most cases occur in patients over 40 years of age.
Race and ethnicity
White women have a higher overall rate of breast cancer than
African-American women; however, this difference is not apparent
until after menopause. American Asian and Hispanic women have
approximately half the incidence of American Caucasian women.
Native-American women extremely low risk of developing breast
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The incidence of breast cancer is significantly higher
in the United States and European countries such as
the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands, New
Zealand and Switzerland than in India, Japan, Thailand, Nigeria. It
has been suggested that these trends in breast cancer incidence may
be related to dietary fat consumption.