Age risk


As indicated in the following table, a woman's chance of developing breast cancer increases with age. Approximately 75% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women 50 years and older. While breast cancer is less common in women under the age of 40, women in their 20s and 30s can get it too (approximately 6% of cases are in this age group1).

 If a women is now aged:    Risk of breast cancer in the next ten years2 


1 in 2,118


1 in 208


1 in 57


1 in 40


1 in 33


1 in 39


Recent research from Australia, and the United Kingdom shows a 1 in 9 lifetime risk of a woman being diagnosed with breast cancer; however, the USA is showing a trend towards a higher incidence with a 1 in 8 to 1 in 7 lifetime risk.


1. National Screening Unit, Cancer Society, The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (2013). Information of Breast Awareness. Wellington: Ministry of Health

2. Ministry of Health (2002 - 2012). Cancer Registrations and Deaths. Wellington: Ministry of Health   *10 year average.