Breast cancer is the type of cancer most closely linked with women in the public consciousness,
but lung cancer has now surpassed it as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
Source: Scientific American

Breast cancer is a cancer of the glandular breast tissue.

Worldwide, breast cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer). In 2005, breast cancer caused 502,000 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 1% of all deaths) worldwide. Among women worldwide, breast cancer is the most common cancer and the most common cause of cancer death.

In the United States, breast cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer and colon cancer). In 2007, breast cancer is expected to cause 40,910 deaths (7% of cancer deaths; almost 2% of all deaths) in the U.S. Among women in the U.S., breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer). Women in the U.S. have a 1 in 8 lifetime chance of developing invasive breast cancer and a 1 in 33 chance of breast cancer causing their death.

The number of cases has significantly increased since the 1970s, a phenomenon partly blamed on modern lifestyles in the Western world. Because the breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, breast cancer also occurs in males, though it is less common.


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