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Breast cancer

/upload/mammae/bryst.gifBreast cancer is by far the most common form of cancer in women.

The disease is characterized by a varied course, from rapidly growing tumors with early distant metastasis, to slow growing tumors which may remain in the breasts without metastasizing.

The majority of breast tumors are carcinomas. Sarcomas are rare, but are important to be aware of as they are treated differently from breast carcinomas.

Breast cancer rarely occurs in men. In Norway, less than 20 cases are diagnosed per year. With a few exceptions the treatment is the same as for women.

Incidence

Age-specific incidence of breast cancer, 2007–2011.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway

 

Incidence of breast cancer, 1953–2007.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway

 

Every 10th to 11th woman will develop breast cancer. In Norway in 2011, there were 3,094 women who received this diagnosis. In comparison, the disease affected 1,235 women in 1970.

Breast cancer involves first and foremost women over the age of 50. Only 4.4 % of new cases occurred in women under 40 years for the years 2005-2009. The disease constitutes 34% of all cancer in women between the ages of 25 to 49 years. The average age at diagnosis is 59.

The age-adjusted incidence rate has increased from 37.8 per 100,000 during the period 1957-61 to 73.8 per 100,000 in 2007-11, which is almost a doubling.

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