Breast cancer survival rates soar

Many people who are diagnosed with cancer begin to wonder about their mortality.

An estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,960 new cases of non-invasive, or in situ, breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year, according to

The good news is that breast cancer incidence rates began decreasing in 2000 after increasing for the previous two decades. In addition, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasingly steadily since 1989.

The National Cancer Institute says that the change in age-adjusted mortality rates are an indicator of the progress being made in the fight against breast cancer.

The most recent SEER Cancer Statistics Review, released in April 2018, indicates cancer death rates among women decreased by 1.4 percent per year between the years of 2006 and 2015. The American Cancer Society says that decreasing death rates among major cancer types, including prostate, colorectal, lung, and breast cancers, are driving the overall shift in survival. (Click here for more information on breast cancer from SEER.)

The ACS says breast cancer death rates among women declined by 39 percent from 1989 to 2015. That progress is attributed to improvements in early detection and treatment protocols. For anyone doing the math, over the last 25 years or so, 322,000 lives have been saved from breast cancer.

Currently, the five-year net survival rate for breast cancer among Americans is 85 percent.

Increased knowledge about breast cancer, early detection through examinations and mammography, and improved treatments are helping to drive up the survival rates of breast cancer. Although this does not make diagnosis any less scary, it does offer hope to those recently diagnosed.

For information on outsmarting cancer, click the image below (and then click once again) to see the enlarged version of the following infographic.