DefinitionRate of mortality from female breast cancer per 100,000 females.
NumeratorNumber of deaths due to breast cancer among females for a specific time period.
DenominatorMid-year female resident population for a specific time period.
Data Interpretation IssuesCancer cases do not include in situ. Mortality rates may vary from source to source. This may be due to using provisional data or using different population databases. The cancer mortality rates provided by the [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/chronic/pages/cancer/registry.aspx Alaska Cancer Registry] use population estimates provided by the [http://seer.cancer.gov/ Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER)] of the [http://www.cancer.gov/ National Cancer Institute]. In contrast, [http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/VitalStats/Pages/data/default.aspx Alaska Vital Statistics] uses [http://live.laborstats.alaska.gov/pop/index.cfm population estimates] provided by the State Demographer in the [http://laborstats.alaska.gov/ Research and Analysis Section] of the [http://labor.alaska.gov/ Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development].
Why Is This Important?Female breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the country and the third leading cause of cancer death after lung and colorectal cancers. It is estimated that in the United States in 2018, 40,920 women will die from breast cancer. The percentage of breast cancer deaths is highest among women age 65-74, with a median age at death of 68 years. The highest rates of death from breast cancer are among Black women.^1^
Mortality rates tell us about the rate at which people die of cancer. This rate is a function of the number of new cases each year and how long people live with the disease. When examined along with the rate of new incidence cases, cancer mortality rates can show if progress is being made in increasing cancer survival over time.[[br]]
1. [http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/breast.html Cancer of the Breast (Female) - SEER Stat Fact Sheets] [[br]]
Healthy People Objective: Reduce the female breast cancer death rateU.S. Target: 20.6 deaths per 100,000 females
How Are We Doing?Breast cancer was the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in Alaska during 2012-2016.
Around the state for 1996-2016, breast cancer mortality ranged from a high of 31.1 per 100,000 females in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area to a low of 13.3 per 100,000 females in North Slope Borough, compared to the statewide rate of 21.9. There were several
boroughs/census areas for which rates were not calculated because they had less than 6 cases.
By race for 1996-2016, Black women had the highest rate of breast cancer mortality than any other race at 27.8 per
100,000 females, compared to 25.7 for Alaska Native females, 21.6 for White females, and 11.8 for Asian/Pacific Islander females.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Although not consistent over time, Alaska has had slightly lower average breast cancer mortality rates than the U.S., and both rates are decreasing with time. In 2016, Alaska's breast cancer mortality rate was 19.0 per 100,000 females compared with the U.S. rate of 20.3.