Breast cancer: key points
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Scotland accounting for 28.3% of all cancers diagnosed, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer.
- Risk of breast cancer increases substantially with age and it is largely determined by lifetime exposure to oestrogens.
- Many of the known risk factors for breast cancer relate to a woman's reproductive history, e.g. early menarche, late first pregnancy, low parity, not breastfeeding and late menopause.
- There were 4,578 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2014 in women in Scotland and incidence is increasing over time.
- Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in Scotland. However, mortality has decreased since the late 1980s.
- One in eight women in Scotland will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.
- Breast cancer survival has improved substantially over recent years, with 88% of women in Scotland now surviving at least 5 years after their breast cancer diagnosis.
- Breast cancer is more common in affluent areas, but for women diagnosed with breast cancer survival is lower in more deprived areas.
- Breast cancer incidence and mortality is higher in the UK and other western countries than in the rest of the world.
Key statistics (females only):
|Number of cases diagnosed in 2014||4,578|
|Prevalence at 31 Dec 2013 (cases / 100,000 female pop)1||1,693|
|Number of deaths in 2014||966|
|% women surviving 5 years after diagnosis2||88.0%|
|Lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (from birth)||11.9%|
|Lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (from age 54)||9.9%|
1) Number of female breast cancer survivors at 31 Dec 2013 who had been diagnosed in the previous 20 years per 100,000 female population.
2) 5 year relative survival for patients diagnosed during the period 2007-2011 (not standardised).
- The last major update of this section was completed in June 2016.
- The next major update is due to be carried out by end June 2017.