Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women. (The most common form of cancer is non-invasive non-melanoma skin cancer; non-invasive cancers are generally easily cured, cause very few deaths, and are routinely excluded from cancer statistics.) Breast cancer comprises 22.9% of invasive cancers in women and 16% of all female cancers.
In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women and 6.0% of all cancer deaths for men and women together). Lung cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related death in women, caused 12.8% of cancer deaths in women (18.2% of all cancer deaths for men and women together).
The incidence of breast cancer varies greatly around the world: it is lowest in less-developed countries and greatest in the more-developed countries. In the twelve world regions, the annual age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 women are as follows: in Eastern Asia, 18; South Central Asia, 22; sub-Saharan Africa, 22; South-Eastern Asia, 26; North Africa and Western Asia, 28; South and Central America, 42; Eastern Europe, 49; Southern Europe, 56; Northern Europe, 73; Oceania, 74; Western Europe, 78; and in North America, 90.
The number of cases worldwide has significantly increased since the 1970s, a phenomenon partly attributed to the modern lifestyles. Breast cancer is strongly related to age with only 5% of all breast cancers occurring in women under 40 years old.
Famous quotes containing the words breast and/or cancer:
“His breast was the seat of all those passions which degrade our nature, and disturb our reason. There they raged in a perpetual conflict; but avarice, the meanest of them all, generally triumphed, ruled absolutely, and in many instances, which I forbear to mention, most scandalously.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)
“We need cancer because, by the very fact of its incurability, it makes all other diseases, however virulent, not cancer.”
—Gilbert Adair, British author, critic. Under the Sign of Cancer, Myths and Memories (1986)