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Interpreting Breast Cancer Statistics

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While breast cancer (BC) incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, BC death rates are highest in African American women.

I have have had little success in trying to determine if Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS) and Lobular Carcinoma In-Situ (LCIS)  are included in the mortality statistics for BC.  Below are links to BC statistics reported by the American Cancer Society in 2009-2010.  It seems that they have reported DCIS and LCIS separately in the incidence of BC, but it is not at all clear to me if they have included it in the death statistics.  See Table 2 on page 4 (the page 4 they refer to is what they have page numbered as page 4 — your computer’s page number may differ).

If they have included it in the mortality statistics, it could possibly make it appear that survival rates have gone up because DCIS and LCIS have an extremely high survival rate.  The invention of mammography and especially digital mammography has allowed the very early discovery of DCIS and LCIS that was not possible before mammography.

I, personally, would love to know for sure because I want to know if the new approaches to treating BC, including newer drugs and the avoidance of estrogen replacement therapy, are making an actual impact on the long-term survivability of invasive BC.  Studies on individual drugs, such as tamoxifen and Arimidex, indicate that there is a strong impact on survival.

Is there anyone who is able to interpret these statistics and understand for sure they have not included DCIS and LCIS in the death statistics?  Perhaps there are other places which report them more clearly.

Mary Miller-Breast Cancer Profile in Courage

Breast Cancer Facts & Figures

“Among US women in 2017, there will be an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive BC, 63,410 new cases of breast carcinoma in situ, and 40,610 breast cancer deaths.

While BC incidence rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, breast cancer death rates are highest in African American women.

Statistics such as these are presented in this updated edition of the American Cancer Society’s BC Facts and Figures, which provides data on BC incidence, mortality, and survival, as well as information on risk factors, early detection, and treatment.

Please note that any reproduction or re-use should credit the appropriate American Cancer Society BC Facts & Figures publication and include a statement of copyright and identify the data source used.

These BC Facts & Figures publications are available for free download as full-text PDF files.

Latest Publication

BC Facts & Figures 2017-2018 is accompanied by “BC Statistics, 2017,” a scientific paper published in the American Cancer Society journal, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Past Publications


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