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It has been a real challenge to find statistics on metastatic breast cancer. The statistics presented here are the most recent we could find. Because treatment options are ever expanding, even the more recent statistics are already old by the time they are reported.

We suggest you read STATISTICS - WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN TO YOU!!! by clicking on the link for a clearer understanding of statistics as they relate to you.

Keep in mind


  1. Statistics can be frightening… and some statistics may not even apply to you and your specific type of cancer and your particular response to treatment.
  2. Many statistics represent an average number. Not everyone falls into that average.
  3. You are a statistic of one.


About 155,00 women are living with metastatic breast cancer in the United States and this is projected to rise to 162,000 by 2011 according to Dr. William Gradishar, Director of Breast Oncology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  source: Reach MD interview 2010

In developed countries, nearly 30 % of women with early stage breast cancer will eventually develop metastatic breast cancer.
(O’Shaughnessy J. Extending Survival With Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer The Oncologist.2005;10 (suppl 3): 20-9)

In 2008, almost 49,000 Americans, including 1,990 men, were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
(American Cancer Society - 2008 Statistics)

98 percent of patients with breast cancer that has not spread beyond the breast live five years or more, while only 27 percent of patients whose cancer has spread to other organs survive five years.
(Komen website Jan 2010)

Median survival after diagnosis is three years. There has been no statistically significant improvement in the past twenty years.
(American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO] Report - 2008)

Despite the decrease in cancer mortality rates since 1990, the actual number of Americans losing their battle with the disease has hovered around 40,000 each year since at least the year 2000.
(American Cancer Society statistics 2000 - 2008)

This translates to one death from metastatic breast cancer every 14 minutes.



Understanding Statistics

click on the links below:

Statistics: What They Really Mean To You

Helping Doctors & Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics 

The Hope, The Hype, and Gap Between Reality & Perception (understanding "med-speak")

Bridge Survey Fact Sheet


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