Statistics and Indicators

Breast cancer – incidence and mortality

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    • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the ACT. There are several lifestyle risk factors which contribute to the incidence of breast cancer, including alcohol consumption, being overweight or obese and insufficient physical activity. Use of contraceptives and menopausal hormone therapy also increase the risk.1,2
    • As the greatest risk factor is older age, the number of women in the ACT with breast cancer is likely to increase as the proportion of older women in our population grows.
    • In 2018, there were 291 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in ACT women. In 2018, the age-standardised incidence rate for the ACT was 133.4 cases per 100,000 women, compared to 124.8 cases per 100,000 women for Australia in 2017.3
    • There is not a clear trend for breast cancer incidence because it has varied over time. When compared with Australia, the ACT has relatively high incidence rates for breast cancer. The reasons for this are complex, but it is well established that there is an association between socio-economic status and risk of breast cancer, with women in higher socio-economic groups being at higher risk.3 The ACT has a high socio-economic status relative to other Australian states and territories.It is thought that the reasons for these increased breast cancer rates are related to lifestyle factors (e.g. high alcohol consumption) and hormonal factors such as having fewer children, a higher proportion of women who have never given birth, and older age at first birth and lower rates of breastfeeding.2
    • In 2017, 31 women who lived in the ACT at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis died from breast cancer. In 2017, the age-standardised mortality rate for the ACT was 14.3 deaths per 100,000 women, compared with 19.2 deaths per 100,000 women for Australia.3
    • In 2017, 31 women who lived in the ACT at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis died from breast cancer. In 2017, the age-standardised mortality rate for the ACT was 14.3 deaths per 100,000 women, compared with 19.2 deaths per 100,000 women for Australia.3
    • Five-year relative survival for breast cancer has improved over time, from 80% in the period 1988–1997 to 92% for the period 2008–2017. There was a significant difference in 5-year relative survival between women aged 0–44 years and 45–64 years (89.3% and 94.2%, respectively). 3,6-11 The very welcome improvement in relative survival reflects early diagnosis through screening mammography and improved breast cancer management and treatments.12-13

     

    References

    1. White ND. Hormonal Contraception and Breast Cancer Risk. Am J Lifestyle Med 2018; 12(3): 224-226.

    2. Cancer Australia. Breast cancer risk factors: a review of the evidence. Surry Hills: 2018 [cited 2021 Dec 10 4]. Available from:  https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/publications-and-resources/cancer-australia-publications/risk-factors-breast-cancer-review-evidence-2018

    3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Cancer Data in Australia. Canberra: AIHW; 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-data-in-australia.

    4. Cancer Australia. Report to the nation – breast cancer 2012. Surry Hills: 2012 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/publications-and-resources/cancer-australia-publications/report-nation-breast-cancer-2012.

    5. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 2071.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Reflecting Australia - Stories from the Census, 2016. Canberra: ABS; 2017 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/2071.0.

    6. ACT Cancer Registry. Canberra: ACT Cancer Registry; 2021 (unpublished data).

    7. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2015-2017. Canberra: ABS; 2019 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12015-2017?OpenDocument=.

    8. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2014-2016. Canberra: ABS; 2018 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12014-2016?OpenDocument=.

    9. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2013-2015. Canberra: ABS; 2017 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12013-2015?OpenDocument=.

    10. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2012-2014. Canberra: ABS; 2016 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12012-2014?OpenDocument=.

    11. ABS. Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2011-2013. Canberra: ABS; 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 4]. Available from: https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/3302.0.55.001Main+Features12011-2013?OpenDocument=.

    12. Ho-Huynh A, Tran A, Bray G, et al. Factors influencing breast cancer outcomes in Australia: A systematic review. Eur J Cancer Care 2019; 28(4): e13038.

    13. Lord SJ, Kiely BE, Pearson SA, et al. Metastatic breast cancer incidence, site and survival in Australia, 2001-2016: a population-based health record linkage study protocol. BMJ Open  2019; 9(2): e026414.

    The authors wish to thank the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages, the Coroners and the National Coronial Information System for enabling the cause of death unit record file data to be used for this publication.

    To access the data please click on the "View source data" link at the bottom of the visualisation. This link will open up a data table that you can download.