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Understanding breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women. 

In 2022, it is estimated that 20,741(i) people will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is an average of 57 people per day. 

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, visit BCNA's My Journey for up-to-date, reliable information tailored to your changing needs during your breast cancer experience. Whether you have DCIS, early breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer, My Journey provides you with the latest information tailored to suit your situation. You can access this information through My Journey via an app or web browser at

It is important to remember that most people survive breast cancer. The incidence rate of women and men being diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia is increasing; however the mortality rate from breast cancer is decreasing. 

A snapshot of breast cancer in Australia 

  • The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer over a lifetime is 1 in 7 for women and 1 in 726 for men.[ii] 
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women. It is estimated that breast cancer will account for approximately 28.4 per cent of all new cancers in Australian women in 2022.(iii)
  • It is predicted that 173 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.(iv)
  • The chance of surviving at least five years (five year relative survival) has increased from 76.1 per cent in 1988-1992 to 91.5 per cent in 2013-2017.[v]
  • Approximately 80 per cent of new cases of breast cancer are in women aged 50 or above.(vi)

The graph below shows the projected incidence of breast cancer by age for Australian women in 2021 (the latest year for which these figures are available).[vii] 

For more information Download BCNA’s current breast cancer statistics in Australia.

More information 


[i] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021. Cancer in Australia 2021. Cancer series no. 133. Cat. no. CAN 144. Canberra: AIHW.

[ii] Ibid. 

[iii] Ibid. 

[iv] Ibid. 


[vi] Ibid. 

[vii] Ibid.