Breast cancer is a major public health concern worldwide and shows significant heterogeneity between male and female. Knowing the global incidence landscape in both sexes is critical for the breast cancer prevention and the reduction in disease burden.
We retrieved the incidence data of breast cancer in both sexes from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 database. Average annual percentage change was used to quantify the temporal trends of breast cancer incidence.
Between 1990 and 2017, the number of newly diagnosed female breast cancer (FBC) cases increased from 870.2 thousand to 1937.6 thousand, with the age-standardized incidence rate (ASR) significantly increased from 39.2/100,000 to 45.9/100,000. A total of 166 countries experienced a significant increase in FBC-ASR. The most pronounced increase was mainly found in developing countries. The decrease was mostly detected in several developed countries, such as the USA and the UK. Male breast cancer (MBC) is a rare carcinoma and has no evident cluster across the world. Worldwide, the number of newly diagnosed MBC cases increased from 8.5 thousand in 1990 to 23.1 thousand in 2017, with the ASR significantly increased from 0.46/100,000 to 0.61/100,000. A total of 123 countries showed a significant increasing trend in MBC-ASR.
Breast cancer incidence rates are increasing in most countries in both sexes, although the epidemiological features were not completely shared between FBC and MBC. More emphases should be placed on breast cancer primary prevention and the prevention strategies might need to be tailored for both FBC and MBC.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Global burden of disease
Average annual percentage change
Female breast cancer
Male breast cancer
Age-standardized incidence rate
Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I et al (2018) Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin 68(6):394–424
Fitzmaurice C, Abate D, Abbasi N et al (2019) Global, regional, and national cancer incidence, mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years for 29 cancer groups, 1990 to 2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. JAMA Oncol. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2996
Abubakar M, Sung H, Bcr D et al (2018) Breast cancer risk factors, survival and recurrence, and tumor molecular subtype: analysis of 3012 women from an indigenous Asian population. Breast Cancer Res 20(1):114
Engmann NJ, Golmakani MK, Miglioretti DL et al (2017) Population-attributable risk proportion of clinical risk factors for breast cancer. JAMA Oncol 3(9):1228–1236
Pfeiffer RM, Webb-Vargas Y, Wheeler W, Gail MH (2018) Proportion of U.S. trends in breast cancer incidence attributable to long-term changes in risk factor distributions. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 27(10):1214–1222
Kuchenbaecker KB, Hopper JL, Barnes DR et al (2017) Risks of breast, ovarian, and contralateral breast cancer for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. JAMA 317(23):2402–2416
Michailidou K, Lindstrom S, Dennis J et al (2017) Association analysis identifies 65 new breast cancer risk loci. Nature 551(7678):92–94
Sung H, Siegel RL, Torre LA et al (2019) Global patterns in excess body weight and the associated cancer burden. CA Cancer J Clin 69(2):88–112
Liu N, Johnson KJ, Ma CX (2018) Male breast cancer: an updated surveillance, epidemiology, and end results data analysis. Clin Breast Cancer 18(5):e997–e1002
Korde LA, Zujewski JA, Kamin L et al (2010) Multidisciplinary meeting on male breast cancer: summary and research recommendations. J Clin Oncol 28(12):2114–2122
Gucalp A, Traina TA, Eisner JR et al (2019) Male breast cancer: a disease distinct from female breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 173(1):37–48
Wang F, Shu X, Meszoely I et al (2019) Overall mortality after diagnosis of breast cancer in men vs women. JAMA Oncol. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2803
GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators (2018) Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 392(10159):1789–1858
Liu Z, Jiang Y, Yuan H et al (2019) The trends in incidence of primary liver cancer caused by specific etiologies: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 and implications for liver cancer prevention. J Hepatol 70(4):674–683
Lin L, Yan L, Liu Y et al (2019) Incidence and death in 29 cancer groups in 2017 and trend analysis from 1990 to 2017 from the Global Burden of Disease Study. J Hematol Oncol 12(1):96
Global Burden of Disease Collaborative Network (2018) Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Results. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Seattl. https://ghdx.healthdata.org/gbd-results-tool.
GBD 2017 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators (2016) Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. Lancet 388(10053):1545–1602
GBD 2016 Causes of Death Collaborators (2017) Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 390(10100):1151–1210
GBD 2017 Causes of Death Collaborators (2018) Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality for 282 causes of death in 195 countries and territories, 1980–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 392(10159):1736–1788
Allemani C, Matsuda T, Di Carlo V et al (2018) Global surveillance of trends in cancer survival 2000–14 (CONCORD-3): analysis of individual records for 37 513 025 patients diagnosed with one of 18 cancers from 322 population-based registries in 71 countries. Lancet 391(10125):1023–1075
DeSantis CE, Bray F, Ferlay J et al (2015) International variation in female breast cancer incidence and mortality rates. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 24(10):1495–1506
Youlden DR, Cramb SM, Dunn NA et al (2012) The descriptive epidemiology of female breast cancer: an international comparison of screening, incidence, survival and mortality. Cancer Epidemiol 36(3):237–248
Loberg M, Lousdal ML, Bretthauer M, Kalager M (2015) Benefits and harms of mammography screening. Breast Cancer Res 17:63
Katalinic A, Eisemann N, Kraywinkel K et al (2019) Breast cancer incidence and mortality before and after implementation of the German mammography screening program. Int J Cancer. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.32767
Jacklyn G, McGeechan K, Irwig L et al (2017) Trends in stage-specific breast cancer incidence in New South Wales, Australia: insights into the effects of 25 years of screening mammography. Breast Cancer Res Treat 166(3):843–854
Wu WY, Tornberg S, Elfstrom KM et al (2018) Overdiagnosis in the population-based organized breast cancer screening program estimated by a non-homogeneous multi-state model: a cohort study using individual data with long-term follow-up. Breast Cancer Res 20(1):153
Rossouw JE, Anderson GL, Prentice RL et al (2002) Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results from the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA 288(3):321–333
Ravdin PM, Cronin KA, Howlader N et al (2007) The decrease in breast-cancer incidence in 2003 in the United States. N Engl J Med 356(16):1670–1674
Anderson WF, Reiner AS, Matsuno RK, Pfeiffer RM (2007) Shifting breast cancer trends in the United States. J Clin Oncol 25(25):3923–3929
Colditz GA, Bohlke K (2014) Priorities for the primary prevention of breast cancer. CA Cancer J Clin 64(3):186–194
Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer (2019) Type and timing of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: individual participant meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence. Lancet 394(10204):1159–1168
Poli A, Marangoni F, Visioli F (2012) Alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. JAMA 307(7):666; author reply 666.
Picon-Ruiz M, Morata-Tarifa C, Valle-Goffin JJ et al (2017) Obesity and adverse breast cancer risk and outcome: mechanistic insights and strategies for intervention. CA Cancer J Clin 67(5):378–397
Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F et al (2012) Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet 380(9838):219–229
Beaber EF, Buist DS, Barlow WE et al (2014) Recent oral contraceptive use by formulation and breast cancer risk among women 20 to 49 years of age. Cancer Res 74(15):4078–4089
Fisher B, Costantino JP, Wickerham DL et al (2005) Tamoxifen for the prevention of breast cancer: current status of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project P-1 study. J Natl Cancer Inst 97(22):1652–1662
Goss PE, Ingle JN, Ales-Martinez JE et al (2011) Exemestane for breast-cancer prevention in postmenopausal women. N Engl J Med 364(25):2381–2391
Tamimi RM, Spiegelman D, Smith-Warner SA et al (2016) Population attributable risk of modifiable and nonmodifiable breast cancer risk factors in postmenopausal breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol 184(12):884–893
Smith BD, Smith GL, Hurria A et al (2009) Future of cancer incidence in the United States: burdens upon an aging, changing nation. J Clin Oncol 27(17):2758–2765
Manthey J, Shield KD, Rylett M et al (2019) Global alcohol exposure between 1990 and 2017 and forecasts until 2030: a modelling study. Lancet 393(10190):2493–2502
Fentiman IS, Fourquet A, Hortobagyi GN (2006) Male breast cancer. The Lancet 367(9510):595–604
Kreiter E, Richardson A, Potter J, Yasui Y (2014) Breast cancer: trends in international incidence in men and women. Br J Cancer 110(7):1891–1897
Talibov M, Hansen J, Heikkinen S et al (2019) Occupational exposures and male breast cancer: A nested case-control study in the Nordic countries. Breast 48:65–72
Ruddy KJ, Winer EP (2013) Male breast cancer: risk factors, biology, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Ann Oncol 24(6):1434–1443
Conflict of interest
Zhilin Chen, Lu Xu, Wenjie Shi, Fanyu Zeng, Rui Zhuo, Xinbao Hao, Pingming Fan declared that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Chen, Z., Xu, L., Shi, W. et al. Trends of female and male breast cancer incidence at the global, regional, and national levels, 1990–2017. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-05561-1
- Female breast cancer
- Male breast cancer
- Global burden of disease