Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women. In 2019, it is estimated that 19,371 women and 164 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.[i]
This means that approximately 19,535 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019,[ii] an average of 53 people every day.
It is important to remember that most people survive breast cancer. The latest statistics show that the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011-2015 was 90.8 per cent.[iii] Of course, many people live long and healthy lives well beyond this period.
A snapshot of breast cancer in Australia
- The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia is increasing; however the number of deaths from breast cancer is decreasing.
- The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.
- The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 7 for women and 1 in 675 for men.[iv]
- The average age of first diagnosis of breast cancer for women is 61 years.[v]
- 79 per cent of new cases of breast cancer in women develop over the age of 50.[vi]
- The chance of surviving at least five years (five year relative survival) has increased from 74.0 per cent in 1986-1990 to 90.8 per cent in 2011-2015 [vii].
The graph below shows the estimated incidence of breast cancer by age for Australian women in 2017.[viii]
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no.101. Cat. no. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW.
For more information download BCNA’s current breast cancer statistics in Australia – 2019. An infographic version can be downloaded here.
- If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, visit My Journey, our free online tool that provides information and support tailored to your specific situation and diagnosis.
- Comprehensive statistics about breast cancer can also be found in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)'s web report 2018 Cancer Data In Australia, the AIHW publications Cancer in Australia: an overview 2017, Cancer in Australia: an overview 2014 and Cancer Australia's Report to the Nation: Breast Cancer 2012.
- For information on how to be 'breast aware' and look for any changes in your breasts visit BCNA’s Breast health and awareness page or the Cancer Australia website.
[v] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018 Cancer compendium: information and trends by cancer type, Canberra: AIHW.
[vi] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017: Supplementary tables. Chapter 3: Incidence of Cancer, Canberra: AIHW
[viii] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017: Supplementary tables. Chapter 3: Incidence of Cancer, Canberra: AIHW.