Breast cancer causes more than 450,000 deaths each year. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women. If detected early, when the cancer is localized in the breast, five-year survival statistics are approximately 98%.
- 1.4 million women globally are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
- By 2020, there will be over 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer annually.
- In 2009, breast cancer resulted in an economic burden of $28.4 billion.
Breast cancer forms in the ducts and in the lobules for the breast. Many breast cancers can be estrogen-, progesterone-, or HER-2/neu-positive, which causes the cancer to grow. HER-2/neu positivity is associated with more-aggressive disease, decreased overall survival, and a higher probability of recurrence.