Breast Cancer Facts

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).
  • An estimated 23,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 will die of it.
  • An estimated 180 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 50 will die of it.
  • On average, 445 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every week.
  • On average, 100 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every week.
  • One in 9 women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime and one in 28 will die of it.
  • Breast cancer incidence rose steadily from 1980 to the early 1990s, partly because of increased mammography screening. Breast cancer deaths rates have declined in every age group since at least the mid 1980s.
 Source: The Canadian Cancer Society at


Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Remember, lumps in the breast are very common, especially just before your period. Most lumps are not breast cancer.

Most often breast cancer is first noticed as a painless lump in the breast or armpit. You or your partner may discover the lump, or your doctor may find it during a routine physical exam or screening mammogram. Other signs might include:

  • lump or swelling in the armpit
  • changes in breast size or shape
  • dimpling or puckering of the skin – thickening and dimpling skin is sometimes called orange peel
  • redness, swelling and increased warmth in the affected breast
  • inverted nipple – nipple turns inwards
  • crusting or scaling on the nipple

Often, these symptoms are not caused by cancer. Other health problems can cause them. Testing is necessary to make a diagnosis.

Source: The Canadian Cancer Society at

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