Breast cancer develops in the milk-producing glands in the breast, or the passages or ducts that deliver milk to the nipples. If left untreated, some breast cancers can spread into the surrounding tissue and other parts of the body.
About one in nine women in the UK gets breast cancer at some point. It's the most common cancer in the UK.
Breast cancer can occur in men, but is much rarer.
Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK
Each year more than 44,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, that’s more than 100 women a day.
Each year around 300 men are diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer rates have increased by more than 50% over the last twenty years.
In the last ten years, breast cancer rates in the UK have increased by 12%
8 in 10 breast cancers are diagnosed in women aged 50 and over
In England the NHS breast screening programme picks up around 14,000 cases of breast cancer each year.
The NHS breast screening programme in England saves around 1,400 lives each year.
Around 430,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the European Union every year.
Worldwide, more than a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
The highest rates of breast cancer occur in Northern Europe and North America and the lowest rates are in parts of Africa and Asia.