Breast cancer information


  • 1 in 8 Canadian women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 33 are expected to die from breast cancer.
  • In 2020, an estimated 27,700 Canadians will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 5,150 Canadians are expected to die from the disease.
    • More than 80% of breast cancers occur in women who are 50 and over.
  • Since the 1980s, breast cancer survival has increased by nearly 20%. Five-year breast cancer survival is 88% for women and 80% for men.
  • The breast cancer death rate in women has been nearly cut in half, decreasing approximately 49% since it peaked in 1986. This reduction likely reflects the impact of research that has led to improvements in screening and treatment for breast cancer.


The Canadian Cancer Society’s breast cancer work

The Canadian Cancer Society is the only organization that provides a national support system for people affected by breast cancer. As the largest national charitable funder of breast cancer research, CCS:

  • Funds more groundbreaking breast cancer research than any other national charity
  • Helps move research discoveries from the lab to people with cancer, by supporting clinical trials at hospitals and cancer centres across the country
  • Educates women about early detection, diagnosis and treatment options
  • Provides information and support to those living with breast cancer, to ensure that no one has to face breast cancer alone. They provide a comprehensive support system to local women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, by:
  • Operating a national cancer information helpline where people with questions about cancer can speak with a trained professional to learn more about their diagnosis, or the local services available to support them.
  • Connecting people with others who have had a similar breast cancer experience, which can help women living with breast cancer and their family members by providing information and reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation.
  • Providing current, reliable information on breast cancer (about screening, diagnosis, treatment and life after cancer) in addition to connecting women to services in their communities.
  • Helping women find wigs when they lose their hair as a result of cancer treatment.
  • Providing a home away from home at one of our Lodges, for people who don’t live near a cancer centre and need to travel for treatment.