Breast cancer is an issue that affects us all!

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Canada and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women.
  • An estimated 26,300 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Canada, and 5,000 women die from it.
  • In Quebec, an estimated 6,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer yearly, and 1,350 women die from it.
  • Women aged 50 to 69 have the highest rate of breast cancer. Among women aged 20 to 49 who are diagnosed with cancer, 18% have breast cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in this age group.

In Canada, it is also estimated that 210 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and 60 die from it.

These statistics indicate that if these trends continue:

  • One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
  • One in 31 women will die of breast cancer.

Breast cancer survival statistics

  • Early detection improves the chances of survival and access to more effective treatments.
  • Breast cancer mortality rates have been steadily decreasing since the mid-1980s.
  • The age-standardized mortality rate1 has fallen by 40% since 1986. The five-year survival rate is 88% for women and 80% for men.

Earlier diagnosis, in particular thanks to the Québec Breast Cancer Screening Program, is one explanation for this drop in deaths. Breast cancer treatments are constantly improving because of research programs.

  1. Number of cancer deaths per 100,000 persons, adjusted to the age distribution of the Canadian population in 1991 to account for changes in the age distribution over time.
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