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Breast Cancer

Among American women, breast cancer is the most common cancer, after skin cancer. About 1 in 8 (12 percent) women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.

For 2017, the American Cancer Society estimates that:

  • About 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women, and about 2,470 will be diagnosed in men.
  • About 63,410 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 40,610 women will die from breast cancer.

Incidence rates of breast cancer are highest in non-Hispanic white women; however, breast cancer death rates are highest in African American women. 
Source: American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, surpassed only by lung cancer. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than age 50. It is believed that earlier detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment, has led to these decreases.

Today, there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.
Source: Miller KD, et al. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2016. CA Cancer J Clin. 2016;66:271–289.

Featured Programs

Quality Improvement in Breast Cancer Through BRCA Testing

To support quality improvement projects in breast cancer, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has joined with Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC) to issue a Request of Proposals (RFP) with the intent of funding QI initiatives that fully integrate BRCA testing into patient care plans in order to help inform the treatment decision-making process.
Learn More

Managing Patients with HER2+ Breast Cancer 

ACCC is partnering with AXIS Medical Education in an educational research project to assess the value of a robust, independent, quality-focused educational intervention that aims to improve a community cancer program's quality measures related to management of patients with HER2+ breast cancer (all stages). Two ACCC-member Cancer Programs are participating in the project. 
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ACCC Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Decades of work by many in the breast cancer community, including both providers and patients, has achieved gains in breast cancer awareness and early detection nationwide. These efforts have helped communicate the experiences of many breast cancer patients and survivors—a group who, for many years, did not feel understood. Despite these successes, expanded conversations about breast cancer have simultaneously led to a perception that all breast cancers can be prevented and/or cured. While this may reflect the experience of those living with early-stage breast cancer, it does not mirror the experience of those living with advanced, stage IV, or metastatic breast, a chronic disease with no current prevention strategy. With this education project, ACCC to improve communication between the multidisciplinary cancer care team and their patients with metastatic breast cancer.
View Project


ACCCBuzz Blog Posts

From Oncology Issues

  • Breast Care ACCESS Project
    By Sharon Lieb Inzetta, RN, MS, CBCN, CN-BN, ONN-CG, and Laura L. Mussara, BS, MBA
    Through its Breast Care ACCESS Project, Summa Health redesigned its breast cancer care continuum to address disparities in treatment, reducing patient outmigration, increasing procedures and referrals, and lowering wait times.
  • Creating a Place for Late-Stage Breast Cancer Patients
    Timothy J. Pluard, MD; Jane Peck; and Emily Kayrish
    Saint Luke’s Hospital’s Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer is one of the only centers in the United States dedicated solely to the comprehensive care of women with late-stage breast cancer.
  • Closing the Loop with a Post-Biopsy Breast Clinic
    Kimberly C. Hutcherson, MD, and Katherine S. Michaud, MPA
    The Gwinnett Medical Center Breast Program Leadership Team saw an opportunity to create a more comprehensive diagnostic care pathway to include more timely results to breast biopsy patients, streamlined access to treatment specialists, and improved processes and communication with referring physicians.
  • A Time for Healing: An Annual Retreat for Breast Cancer Survivors
    Debbie DeNitto
    To help meet the unique needs of its breast cancer patients post-treatment, the cancer program at Winchester Medical Center hosts an annual overnight fall retreat (Saturday-Sunday).
  • Onco-Contraception for Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
    Erika K. Radeke, MPS; Alicia Roston, MPH; Shweta Bhatt, MD; Arden Roston, BA; Lindsay Zimmerman, MPH; Louis G. Keith, MD, PhD; and Ashlesha Patel, MD, MPH
    While contraceptive counseling during breast cancer diagnosis and treatment should be an integral part of disease management, it is often overlooked by clinicians.
  •  Best of ASCO 2017
    Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, FASCO
    ASCO 2017 was filled with new information and long lines as 39,000 oncologists worldwide came together to hear the latest advances in cancer care.
  • Views: Are You Dense? My Journey to Patient Breast Health Advocacy
    Nancy M. Cappello, PhD
    Nearly 13 years ago, I slipped through a significant and potentially fatal crack in our healthcare system when I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer.
  • A Pathway for Identifying Women at Increased Risk for Breast Cancer and Providing Personalized Management and Risk Reduction
    S. Kate Hughes, MS, CGC
    In the summer of 2014 staff at the Novant Health Derrick L. Davis Cancer Center (NHDLD Cancer Center), Winston-Salem, N.C., developed a screening method aimed at detecting women in our community who are at increased risk for breast cancer.
  • Peer Mentoring: A Volunteer-Run Program Benefits Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors
    Dona Hobart, MD, and Marcia McMullin, RN, BSN, MA
    With the understanding that one-to-one mentoring services have proven effective in improving both quality of life and survival rates, the Center for Breast Health at Carroll Hospital developed a volunteer-run peer mentor program, Embrace Peer, in April 2014.
  • Compliance with Breast Cancer Post-Therapy Surveillance
    Melissa Carandang, MD; Wesley Babaran, MD; Lawrence Wagman, MD; Lianne Nacpil, MPH, CTR; Timotea Lara, RN, MSN, NP-C; Norma Castro; and Shannin Greene
    In 2011, Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital initiated a study to measure patient compliance with post-therapy surveillance in women treated using state and federal safety net funding.
  • Beyond Breast Conservation: Oncology Surgery in the Community Setting
    Paul Baron, MD, FACS, and Josh Mondschein, MD, MSCI
    Cancer programs that do not currently have specialists who offer oncoplastic surgery to their breast cancer patients should consider learning more about these procedures and setting up a program to offer these services.

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