Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women.
In 2021, it is projected that 20,030 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer, including 19,866 women and 164 men. An average of 55 people per day.
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, visit BCNA's My Journey online tool for up-to-date, reliable information tailored to your changing needs during your breast cancer experience.
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 2013-2017 was 91.5 per cent.(i) 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 670 for men.[iv]
- The average age of first diagnosis of breast cancer for women is 62 years.
- In 2021, approximately 81 per cent of new cases of breast cancer will develop in women aged 50 or above.[v]
- The chance of surviving at least five years (five year relative survival) has increased from 74.0 per cent in 1986-1990 to 91.5 per cent in 2013-2017.[i]
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2021. Cancer Data in Australia; Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/.
For more information download BCNA’s current breast cancer statistics in Australia.
- Comprehensive statistics about breast cancer can also be found in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) web report, 2021 Cancer Data in Australia, the AIHW publications Cancer in Australia 2019, Cancer in Australia: an overview 2017 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.
[i] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021 Cancer data in Australia. Cat. no. CAN 122. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 29 June 2021;
[v] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2021. Cancer Data in Australia; Canberra: AIHW. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia/.