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Breast Cancer by the Numbers

October 3, 2017

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Hartford Courant recently published some frightening statistics about the prevalence of breast cancer – especially in this region. Here are some facts about breast cancer and the people it affects, gathered from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen New England, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute and



Number of American women expected to be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer this year. Of that number, 25,750 are younger than 45, and 110,770 are 65 or older. Men account for an additional 2,470 cases.


Connecticut women expected to be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer this year.

137 per 100,000

Rate of new invasive breast cancer cases among Connecticut women, the second-highest rate in the country, after New Hampshire. New England’s rate is the highest among the regions of the U.S. The nationwide rate is 124 per 100,000. In Connecticut, the incidence among white women is just under 142 per 100,000, for Hispanic women 123 per 100,000, and for African-American women just under 114 per 100,000.

About 1 in 8

A woman’s chance of having invasive breast cancer at some point during her life, or about 12.4 percent. A man’s lifetime risk is about 1 in 1,000.

 Nearly 1 in 3

Cancers diagnosed in U.S. women that are breast cancers. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among U.S. women, other than skin cancer.


Median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis, which means half of women who develop breast cancer are 62 or younger, and half are 63 or older. The median age among black women is 58.

About 85 percent

Percentage of breast cancers that occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.

5 to 10 percent

Percentage of breast cancers linked to inherited genetic mutations. 

7 percent

Percentage of women with breast cancer who are under age 40 when they are diagnosed. However, breast cancer is the most common cancer in pregnant and postpartum women and the leading cause of cancer death among women age 20 to 59.



Women in the U.S. expected to die this year from breast cancer; that means that every 13 minutes, one woman will die. An additional 460 men are expected to die.


Connecticut women expected to die this year from breast cancer.

17 per 100,000

Breast cancer mortality rate among Connecticut women in 2014. The rate of mortality among African-American women in the state was significantly higher, at nearly 22 per 100,000, despite their having a lower rate of incidence. Nationwide, the overall mortality rate was 20.5 per 100,000. 

Second leading cause of death

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause, after lung cancer, of cancer-related death in women in Connecticut and nationwide. It is the leading cause of cancer-related death among Hispanic women.

38 percent

The decline in breast cancer mortality in the U.S. between 1989 and 2014, because of earlier detection and effective treatment.


More than 3.1 million

Survivors of breast cancer in the U.S. at this time, including women who are being treated and women who have completed treatment. 

Nearly 100 percent

The 5-year survival rate when breast cancer is diagnosed early and confined to the breast is nearly 100 percent. 

90 percent

The 5-year survival rate for all women diagnosed with breast cancer, meaning 90 percent are likely to live for at least five years after diagnosis. The 5-year survival rate among women diagnosed with stage II breast cancer is 93 percent, and with stage III is 72 percent. When cancer has spread to other parts of the body — in metastatic, or stage IV cancers — the rate is 22 percent, though treatment options are increasingly available. 

78.7 percent

Percentage of Connecticut women 40 and older in 2015 who had a mammogram within the previous two years, compared with 65 percent nationwide.

Starling Is Here To Help

We are dedicated to helping women with all aspects of breast cancer – from proactive screenings to diagnosis and oncology and surgical care.

To schedule an appointment with a member of our OB/GYN team, visit our OB/GYN webpage to see the long list of providers and convenient locations. Click here>> 


To schedule a mammogram, call (860) 224-6222. Ask about our 3D mammograms which can detect cancers even earlier and reduce risk of false positives. Click here to learn more>>

To schedule a visit with a member of our oncology team, call (860) 246-6647 or click here to learn more>>

To schedule a consultation with our surgical specialists, call (860) 826-4457 or click here to learn more>>