Breast cancer in Australia

The following material has been sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Breast cancer incorporates ICD-10 cancer codes C50 (Malignant neoplasm of breast).

Projected* number of new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 20151

15,740 = Male icon PNG 145 males + Female icon PNG 15,600 females

Projected % of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 20151

12.4%Bowel cancer percent all new cases PNG

Projected number of deaths from breast cancer in 20151

3,065 = Male icon PNG 25 males + Female icon PNG 3,040 females

Projected % of all deaths from cancer in 20151

6.6%Breast cancer 6.6% of all cancer deaths 2015 PNG

Chance of surviving at least 5 years (2007–11)1

90%90 in 100 PNG

People living with breast cancer in 2009 (diagnosed in the 5 year period 2005 to 2009)1

59,400Lots of people PNG

How common is breast cancer?

In 2011, there were 14,568 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Australia (103 males and 14,465 females).a In 2015, it is estimated that 15,740 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia (145 males and 15,600 females).b

In 2011, the age-standardised incidence rate was 60 cases per 100,000 persons (0.9 for males and 116 for females).d In 2015, it is estimated that that the age-standardised incidence rate will be 59 cases per 100,000 persons (1.1 for males and 115 for females).

Breast cancer was the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2011. It is estimated that it will remain the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2015.

In 2015, it is estimated that the risk of an individual being diagnosed with breast cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 16 (1 in 719 males and 1 in 8 females).

In 2015, it is expected the incidence of breast cancer will increase with age until age group 65–69. It will then decrease for age group 70–79 before increasing for individuals aged 80+ (see figure below).

Age-specific incidence rates for breast cancer, 2015

Breast cancer new cases PNG

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database (unpublished), (see source data).

Projected most common cancers diagnosed in 2015
Cancer type New cases 20151 % of all new cancers 20151
Prostate (among males) 17,250 24.7
Bowel 17,070 13.5
Breast 15,740 12.4
Melanoma 12,960 10.2
Lung 11,880 9.4

Deaths from breast cancer

In 2012, there were 2,819 deaths from breast cancer in Australia (24 males and 2,795 females). In 2015, it is estimated that this will increase to 3,065 deaths (25 males and 3,040 females).c

In 2012, the age-standardised mortality rate was 11 deaths per 100,000 persons (0.2 for males and 21 for females).d In 2015, it is estimated that the age-standardised mortality rate will be 11 deaths per 100,000 persons (0.2 for males and 21 for females).

In 2012, breast cancer accounted for the 4th highest number of deaths from cancer in Australia. It is estimated that it will remain the 4th most common cause of death from cancer in 2015.

In 2015, it is estimated that the risk of an individual dying from breast cancer by their 85th birthday will be 1 in 74 (1 in 3,664 males and 1 in 39 females).

Trends in breast cancer

Incidence

The number of new cases of breast cancer diagnosed increased from 5,368 in 1982 to 14,568 in 2011.

Over the same period, the age-standardised incidence rate increased from 44 per 100,000 persons in 1982 to 60 per 100,000 persons in 2011.

Mortality

The number of deaths from breast cancer increased from 1,435 in 1968 to 2,819 in 2012.

Over the same period, the age-standardised mortality rate decreased from 17 deaths per 100,000 persons in 1968 to 11 deaths per 100,000 in 2012.

Breast cancer incidence and mortality, 1968 to 2012

Breast cancer incidence vs mortality PNG

Note: Incidence rates available for 1982–2011, and mortality rates available for 1968–2012.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare4

Survival from breast cancer

In 2007–2011 in Australia, individuals with breast cancer had a 90% chance of surviving for 5 years compared to their counterparts in the general Australian population.

Between 1982–1986 and 2007–2011, 5-year relative survival from breast cancer improved from 72% to 90%.

5-year relative survival from breast cancer, 1982–86 to 2007–11

Breast cancer 5-year survival 1982-87 to 2007-11 PNG

Source: AIHW analysis of the Australian Cancer Database (unpublished), (see source data).

Prevalence of breast cancer

The prevalence for one, five and twenty eight years, given below are the number of people living with cancer at the end of 2009 in the preceding 1, 5 and 28 years respectively.

One year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 13,535 people living who had been diagnosed with breast cancer that year.

Five year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 59,400 people living who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous 5 years (from 2005 to 2009).

28 year prevalence

At the end of 2009, there were 168,142 people living who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous 28 years (from 1982 to 2009).


Source tables

Source table 1: Incidence of breast cancer by age group, 2015
Age group (years) Number of new cases
per 100,000 people
0–4 0.0
5–9 0.0
10–14 0.0
15–19 0.0
20–24 0.7
25–29 3.9
30–34 12.9
35–39 30.7
40-44 61.9
45-49 96.9
50-54 122.1
55–59 124.8
60-64 171.6
65–69 202.3
70-74 158.4
75–79 159.5
80–84 174.8
85+ 200.0
Source table 2: 5-year relative survival from breast cancer, 1982–86 to 2007–11
Year 5-year relative survival (%)
1982–86 72.2
1987–91 74.7
1992–96 80.6
1997–01 85.4
2002–06 88.1
2007–11 89.6

Data notes

International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Releated Health Problems Version 10 (ICD-10)

Cancer, like other health conditions, is classified by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Releated Health Problems Version 10 (ICD-10). This is a statistical classification, published by the World Health Organization, in which each morbid condition is assigned a unique code according to established criteria.

Projections

Future projections for incidence and mortality are a mathematical extrapolation of past trends. They assume that the most recent trends will continue into the future, and are intended to illustrate future changes that might reasonably be expected to occur if the stated assumptions continue to apply over the projected period. Actual future cancer incidence and mortality rates may vary from these projections for a variety of factors. New screening programs may increase the detection of new cancer cases; new vaccination programs may decrease the risk of developing cancer; and improvements in treatment options may decrease mortality rates.

Incidence

Cancer incidence indicates the number of new cancers diagnosed during a specified time period (usually one year).

  1. The 2011 national incidence counts include estimates for NSW and the ACT because the real data were not available.
  2. The 2015 estimates are based on 2002–11 incidence data.

Mortality

Cancer mortality refers to the number of deaths occurring during a specified time period (usually one year) for which the underlying cause of death is cancer.

  1. The 2015 estimates are based on 2002–12 mortality data. Due to the rounding of these estimates, male and female mortality may not sum to person mortality.

Prevalence

Prevalence of cancer refers to the number of people alive with a prior diagnosis of cancer at a given time. It is distinct from incidence, which is the number of new cancers diagnosed within a given period of time.

Age standardised rates

  1. Incidence and mortality rates expressed per 100,000 population are age-standardised to the Australian population as at 30 June 2001.

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2014. Cancer series no. 78. Cat. no. CAN 75. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Australia's health 2014. Australia's health series no. 14. Cat. no. AUS 178. Canberra: AIHW.
  3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer survival and prevalence in Australia: period estimates from 1982 to 2010. Cancer Series no. 69. Cat. no. CAN 65. Canberra: AIHW.
  4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) books: Breast cancer. Canberra: AIHW. www.aihw.gov.au/acim-books [Accessed January 2015].
  5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012. Cancer incidence projections: Australia, 2011 to 2020. Cancer Series no. 66. Cat. No. CAN 62. Canberra: AIHW.
  6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015. Australian Cancer Incidence and Mortality (ACIM) Books: All Cancers combined (ICD10 C00-C97, D45-46, D47.1, D47.3). www.aihw.gov.au/acim-books [Accessed January 2015].

For further statistics and information on breast cancer in Australia, refer to: