Standard screening tests: Examination (generally cannot detect DCIS, small or deep tumours), mammogram (reliably detects tumours around 7.5mm in diameter or larger, exposes breasts to radiation), MRI

  • The second most common cause of cancer death in females.
  • The incidence rose through the early 1990s partly due to increased opportunistic mammography screening before organized provincial screening programs. Since 1988, the rates have fluctuated. Decrease in incidence occurred around 2002 and rates have stabilized since 2004.
  • Continued participation in mammography screening and long-term changes in hormonal factors, such as early age
at menarche, breastfeeding, late age at menopause, oral contraceptive use and late age at full-term pregnancy are likely factors for fluctuating rates since 1988. The reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among postmenopausal women may attribute to the decreased rates since 2002.

Additional facts & information:

5 Year Survival

  • Stage 0 – 100%
  • Stages 1&2 – 99%
  • Stage 3 – 85%
  • Stage 4 – 26%

About 37% of cases are diagnosed late at stage 3 or stage 4.