What is Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer is a disease resulting from the uncontrolled multiplication of abnormal breast cells. Cellular transformations may occur for hereditary or environmental reasons.

Among the major risk factors are advanced age, prolonged exposure to female hormones, and insistence on inappropriate lifestyles, such as poor eating habits, excessive intake of alcohol, and more.

Breast Cancer is of great incidence among women, corresponding to approximately 30% of annual feminine cancer cases in Brazil. Yet it is a highly stigmatized disease.

Did you know?

  • Breast cancer in men is rare and accounts for less than 1% of all cases of breast cancer.

  • Statistics indicate increased incidence of breast cancer in both developed and developing countries. "The incidence has been growing between 5% and 10% in the last 10 years. The population is aging, and this (the disease) is very related to obesity, to sedentary lifestyle. “The female tumors may be the ones that have shown the most growth”, warns Fernando Maluf, the general coordinator of Oncology at Hospital Santa Lucia. The higher the proportion of older people, the higher the incidence of cancer, especially cancers associated with aging, such as breast and prostate.

  • Despite the rising incidence in many developed countries, such as in the US and Europe, mortality rates have been falling year after year. Unfortunately this reality is different in Brazil, here the graphs show that the mortality curve is increasing.

  • Everyday, 42 Brazilians die of breast cancer. It's almost 2 women an hour!

  • Relatively rare before age 35, above this age its incidence increases progressively, especially after age 50.

Scenario of Breast Cancer in Brazil

  • Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer after Brazilian non-melanoma skin. It accounts for approximately 30% of female cancer cases.

  • 59,700 new cases of breast cancer are expected for 2018 in our country.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer throughout their lives.

* Font: INCA, 2018.