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Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, excluding skin cancer. About 13 percent of U.S. women (1 in 8) will develop breast cancer during their lifetimes. The American Cancer Society's estimates1 for breast cancer in the United States for 2021 are:

  • About 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
  • About 49,290 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) will be diagnosed.
  • About 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.

In the U.S. today there are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors (this includes both those in currently in treatment and those who have completed treatment).

Because women have the highest rates of breast cancer, awareness campaigns and education have traditionally had a strongly gendered focus. However, breast cancer does not only affect women. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2021 the U.S. will see about 2,650 new cases of breast cancer in men, and about 530 men will die from the disease.2

Further, it is important that breast cancer screening, education, resources, and services be inclusive of all who may be at risk, including those who are often marginalized or excluded such as transgendered and nonbinary individuals.3

Although Increasing knowledge of the biology of breast cancer has yielded tremendous progress including identification of breast cancer subtypes, molecular biomarkers, and targeted therapies, not all breast cancer patient populations have benefited equally from these advances. Some groups, in particular, African American women, experience significant disparities in outcomes and mortality rates.4

In the U.S., the breast cancer mortality rate in African American women is about 40% higher than that of White women. The breast cancer incidence rate in African American women under the age of 40 is higher than for any other racial or ethnic group in the U.S. African American women are at increased risk for triple negative breast cancer—an aggressive subtype, and African American men experience an increased incidence of male breast cancer. 5, 6

CME/CPE/CNE Opportunity

Making Sense of the Evolving Standards of Care for Advanced HER2+ Breast Cancer
This project will enable a series of meaningful small-group educational sessions among clinicians involved in the care of patients with breast cancer. The sessions will help those clinicians optimally manage HER2-positive breast cancer patients who have received prior treatment with anti-HER2 targeted therapies.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Digital Resource Library
This online resource bank features curated webinars, articles, blogs, and tools to help close communication, education, and information gaps for patients and providers. Search by topic, resource type, point of care, or by the effective practices identified in the ACCC Metastatic Breast Cancer project workbook—then share these nationally available, free resources with your patients.

Effective Principles & Practices in Patient Support Workbook (Part I)
Designed to spur constructive dialogue, this workbook is a guide to help identify effective tools and resources for supporting this patient population. It identifies six effective practice principles as a framework to highlight where and how cancer programs can offer support and resources to metastatic breast cancer patients.

Effective Principles in Action Publication (Part II)
Building on principles to reframe the patient-provider conversation identified in the MBC Workbook, this publication explores how three differently structured cancer programs are creating and evolving approaches to implementing these principles.

Multidisciplinary Team Communication: Survey Highlights

ACCC conducted a survey of over 86 unique cancer programs that measured progress and assessed areas for continued improvement in caring for patients with metastatic disease.


Upcoming Webinars and Events

On-Demand Webinars


From Oncology Issues

  •  Carrie's TOUCH: Supporting Black Women with Breast Cancer
    Maddelynne Parker and Tammie Denyse, M. DIV., MCL
    With disparate breast cancer outcomes, lack of messages of hope, and limited available support for Black women, Rev. Tammie and her late sister were inspired to co-found Carrie’s TOUCH in 2006.
  •  Empowering Cancer Patients Using Integrative Medicine: A Novel Model for Breast Cancer Risk Modification
    Christina M. Bowen, MD; Robin Hearne, MS, RN; Caroline Dixon; and Charles H. Shelton, MD
    As a CoC-accredited critical access hospital—one of only about a dozen nationwide—The Outter Banks Hospital has developed a quality program with a focus on removing rurally linked barriers to care.
  •  Engaging the Community to Improve Patient-Centered Care for Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    Gayathri R. Devi, PhD, et al.
    Through a community engagement session and focused interviews, researchers from Duke University School of Medicine, N.C., held a consortium to help stakeholders identify barriers to inflammatory breast cancer awareness, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment. Today the Duke Consortium for Inflammatory Breast Cancer is committed to translating research into action.
  •  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.
  •  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.
  •  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.


  1. American Cancer Society. Current year estimates for breast cancer. Available online
  2. American Cancer Society. Available online.
  3. Griggs J, Maingi S, Blinder V, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology position statement: Strategies for reducing cancer health disparities among sexual and gender minority populations. J Clin Onco. 2017;l35:2203-2208. 
  4. Stringer-Reasor EM, Elkhanany A, Khoury K, Simon MA, Newman LA. Disparities in breast cancer associated with African American identity. American Society of Clinical Oncology Educational Book. 2021:41, e29-e46. Available online.
  5. CancerDisparitiesProgressReport.org [Internet]. Philadelphia: American Association for Cancer Research; @2020 [cited 2021 Sept. 28] Available online.
  6. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures for African Americans 2019-2021. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2019. Available online.

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