DefinitionRate of newly reported cases of female breast cancer per 100,000 females.
NumeratorNumber of newly reported cases of breast cancer in females for a specific time period.
DenominatorMid-year resident female 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, the [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?Breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in U.S. women (excluding basal and squamous cell skin cancers). It is estimated that in the United States in 2018, 266,120 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, with an estimated 40,920 deaths resulting from breast cancer. About 1 in 8 women (12%) in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.^1^
Although the exact causes of breast cancer are not known, there are certain risk factors associated with this type of cancer, including: excessive alcohol consumption, being overweight or obese after menopause, physical inactivity, previous exposure of the chest area to ionizing radiation for treatment of a different cancer at a young age, long-term use of hormone replacement therapy after menopause (especially estrogen plus progesterone), use of oral contraceptives, never having children or having a first child after age 30, having more menstrual cycles over a lifetime due to early start (before age 12) and/or late age of menopause (after age 55), and a family history of breast cancer.^2^
Incidence rates tell us about the rate at which new cases of a condition occur. As such, the incidence rate of breast cancer is an important indicator of the burden of this type of cancer in Alaska, allowing us to monitor how this burden changes over time and also to compare this burden among sub-populations.[[br]]
1. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-key-statistics What are the key statistics about breast cancer?] [[br]]
2. [http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-risk-factors What are the risk factors for breast cancer?]
Healthy People Objective: Reduce late-stage female breast cancerU.S. Target: 41.0 new cases per 100,000 females
How Are We Doing?Female breast cancer in Alaska is ranked #1 for the number of cancer incidence cases in the time period of 2011-2015. As in the U.S., breast cancer incidence in Alaska has been relatively stable over the past decade or so.
Around the state for 1996-2015, the incidence of breast cancer ranged from a high of 155.7 per 100,000 females in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area to a low of 57.2 per 100,000 females in Kusilvak Census Area, compared to the statewide rate of 130.6. There was one borough for which a rate was not calculated because it had less than 6 cases.
By race for 1996-2015, Asians/Pacific Islanders had a lower incidence rate of breast cancer than any other race at 83.7 per 100,000 females, compared to 139.1 for Alaska Natives, 132.9 for Whites, and 123.4 for Blacks.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?Alaska has similar rates of breast cancer as the U.S., especially since 2009. In 2015, Alaska's breast cancer rate was 122.0 per 100,000 females compared with the U.S. rate of 123.9 in 2014.