• Around 3000 New Zealand women and 20 men are diagnosed every year.
  • The risk of breast cancer increases as women age. Around 75% of all cases occur in women over 50 years.
  • Maori women have, on average, a 33% higher incidence of breast cancer than non-Maori women1.
  • Maori and Pacific women are also at greater risk of dying of breast cancer than other NZ women. Over a ten year average, Maori women have shown to have a 65.4% higher mortality rate from breast cancer than non-Maori women1. Pacific women in New Zealand are more likely to die of breast cancer than other non-Maori New Zealand women despite having a similar risk to other women of developing the disease2
  • More than 600 New Zealand women die from breast cancer each year. Mortality rates have dropped by 27% since 1994 - a function of greater breast health awareness, the introduction of the national screening programme for women 44-69 years and more cancers being found earlier enabling successful treatment.
  • Regular mammograms find cancer early and save lives. The 10 year survival rate is 92% if a breast cancer is found through a mammogram compared to 75% if the cancer is detected by chance/self examination because the cancer is generally more advanced when a symptom appears. (source: NZ Breast Cancer Patient Registers).
  • The national screening rate is around 70% of women aged 50-69 years and 64% of Maori.  Around 374,000 women have had a mammogram through Breast Screen Aotearoa in the two years to Oct 2014.


1. Ministry of Health. (2000 - 2010) Mortality and demographic data. Wellington: Ministry of Health

2. Hayes, J., Richardson, A. & Frampton, C. (2013). Population attributable risks for modifiable lifestyle factors and breast cancer in New Zealand women. Internal Medical Journal. doi:10.111/imj.12256