Which age groups are at highest risk for breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 16, 2019
  • Author: Jessica Katz, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: Marie Catherine Lee, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

Age is the most significant risk factor for breast cancer. The disease is rare in women younger than 25 years, and the incidence increases with increasing age, reaching a plateau in women aged 50-69 years. In 2017, 50% of all new cases of invasive breast cancer occurred in women 50 to 69 years of age. [6] See Tables 1 and 2, below.

Table 1. Estimated New Female Breast Cancer Cases and Death by Age in the United States, 2017 (Open Table in a new window)

Age

In situ cases

Invasive Cases

Deaths

< 40

1610

11,160

990

40-49

12,440

36,920

3480

50-59

17,680

58,620

7590

60-69

17,550

68,070

9420

70-79

10,370

47,860

8220

≥80

3760

30,080

10,910

All ages

63,410

252,710

40,610

Adopted from Alteri, et. al. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. 2017.

Table 2. 10-, 20-, and 30-Year Risk of Developing Breast Cancer (Open Table in a new window)

Current age (years)

10 years (%)

20 years (%)

30 years (%)

30

0.45

1.9

4.11

40

1.47

3.70

6.84

50

2.31

5.54

8.81

60

3.45

6.93

8.91

70

3.95

6.18

N/A

Based on 2012-2014 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data for US women [11]


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