Breast cancer, or malignant breast disease, is a major global health problem, and is the second most common cancer affecting women in Australia after lung cancer. Although a small number of men are affected, it affects predominantly women.
Like all forms of cancer, it happens when human cells in the breast reproduce when they shouldn't, resulting in a tumour in the breast. This cancer often spreads from the breast to other parts of the body if not detected in time, and this is why early detection is very important. Early detection also greatly increases survival rates.
BreastScreen Australia recommends that all women aged from 50-69 should have a breast screen every two years.
Some Statistics about Breast Cancer
According to statistics from the Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women develop breast cancer at some point during their lives, with 15,600 women predicted to be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2015, and this number is predicted to rise in the future. This equates to 42 women diagnosed with breast cancer every day in 2015.
In comparison, only around 130 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every year, according to statistics from Cancer Council NSW, which is less than 1% of all breast cancer cases.
You can read more about breast cancer on our page Malignant Breast Disease.