Breast cancer in young women statistics

Breast cancer in young women in Australia

The following material has been sourced from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Estimated % of all new cancer cases diagnosed for women aged 20−39 in 2021

23%

Estimated % of all deaths in 2021 from cancer in women aged 20−39

22%

Incidence and mortality for breast cancer in young women

  • In 2017, there were 866 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women aged 20−39
  • In 2021, it is estimated that 990 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women aged 20−39
  • In 2021, breast cancer was estimated to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women aged 20−39
  • In 2019, there were 71 deaths from breast cancer in women aged 20−39 
  • In 2021, it is estimated that there will be 79 deaths from breast cancer in women aged 20−39In 2021, breast cancer was estimated to be the most common cause of death from cancer in women aged 20−39.

Survival for breast cancer in young women

Five-year relative survival from breast cancer by age at diagnosis, 2013–2017

Age group 5-year relative survival
20-24 91.8
25-29 89.2
30-34 88.1
35-39 90.4
40-44 93.3
45-49 94.0
50-54 93.2
55-59 93.1
60-64 94.0
65-69 94.4
70-74 91.6
75-79 86.5
80-84 80.8
85+ 76.5

Diagnosis of breast cancer in young women by stage​

  • In 2011, women aged 0−39 years were less likely to be diagnosed in the early stages (Stage 1 and 2) of disease than women aged 40-44 years (72% versus 76%).
  • In 2011, women aged 0-39 years were more likely to be diagnosed in the locally advanced stage (Stage 3) than women aged 40-44 years (19% versus 16%). 

Stage distribution of breast cancer by age and sex, 2011 (percentage of age group)

Age group Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Unknown
0-39 28.6 43.5 18.5 4.8 4.6
40-44 36.4 39.4 16.0 3.8 4.5
45-49 40.7 39.5 13.4 3.4 2.9
50-54 45.2 35.1 13.7 3.5 2.4
55-59 47.5 33.8 12.3 3.6 2.8
60-64 52.0 31.0 10.2 3.5 3.3
65-69 53.7 28.9 9.6 4.3 3.5
70-74 44.6 34.8 10.2 6.2 4.2
75-79 38.9 36.6 10.4 5.9 8.2
80-84 30.4 33.4 12.1 7.6 16.5
85+ 17.1 32.1 9.4 7.9 33.5

Breast cancer in young women by tumour size

  • In 2009, women aged 20−39 were more likely to be diagnosed with large cancers (≥50 mm) than women aged 40 years and over (8% versus 6%).
  • In 2009, women aged 20−39 were more likely to be diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma than women aged 40 years and over (87% versus 78%).
  • In 1992−2011, women with very large cancers. (≥50 mm) aged 20−39 and 40 years and over both had a 78% chance of 5-year relative survival.
  • In 1992−2011, women aged 20−39 with small cancers (<15 mm) had a lower five-year relative survival compared with women aged 40 years and over (93% versus 99%).
  • In 1992−2011, women aged 20−39 with very large cancers (≥50 mm) had a lower five-year relative survival compared with women in the same age group with small cancers (<15mm) (78% versus 93%).
  • In 1992−2011, women aged 20−39 with invasive ductal carcinoma had a lower chance of 5-year relative survival than women aged 40 years and over (83% versus 88%).

Burden of disease

  • In 2015, breast cancer accounted for around a quarter (23.9%) of the cancer burden in women aged 30-39 years.
  • In 2015, breast cancer accounted for around a quarter (23.8%) of cancer burden due to premature death in women aged 30-39 years.
  • In 2015, breast cancer accounted for around a quarter (24.8%) of non-fatal cancer burden in women aged 30-39.

Figure 1. Breast cancer incidence and mortality in young women over time, 1982 to 2019

  • Data sourced from AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2021 web report and supplementary data tables 

Figure 2. Incidence of breast cancer in women, by age group, 1982 to 2017

  • Data sourced from AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2021 web report and supplementary data tables

Figure 3. Number of breast cancer deaths in women, by age group, 1982 to 2019

  • Data sourced from AIHW Cancer Data in Australia 2021 web report and supplementary data tables

References