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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

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.

Leveraging Telehealth Solutions to Provide Supportive Services to Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer
ACCC held a series of focus groups to learn how cancer programs are effectively implementing telehealth to man-age symptoms and treatment  side effects, deliver psychosocial screening and support services, and provide genetic counseling and testing.

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.

Successful Delivery of Services Through Telehealth: A Focus on Symptom Management, Psychological Health, and Genetic Counseling in Metastatic Breast Cancer
ACCC members share how they are successfully implementing telehealth to manage symptoms and treatment side effects, deliver psychosocial screening and support services, and provide genetic counseling and testing.

Member Spotlight

Read how these ACCC Cancer Program Members have developed innovative programs to provide efficient, quality care to their patients with breast cancer.


  • Cancer Screening in the COVID-19 Era
    By Alissa McEowen
    September 01, 2022
    The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the cancer screening rate. While telemedicine has facilitated care delivery, there is a need for programs aimed at promoting screening. This understanding prompted Mercy Medical Center-Cedar Rapids, Hall-Perrine Cancer Center in Iowa to launch a initiative that has excelled in increasing their colorectal screening rates, and facilitated the provision of high-quality care in the community.
  • Care Team Illustration
    New Small-Group CE Opportunities Offer Personalized Virtual Learning
    October 27, 2021
    ACCC is offering two new online continuing education initiatives that leverage small-group learning among clinicians and their peers who have roles in the care and treatment of patients with early-stage NSCLC and patients with advanced HER2+ breast cancer.
  • breast-cancer-240x160
    The Changing Landscape of Breast Cancer Care
    October 22, 2021
    Due in no small part to global awareness efforts and transformative technological advances in breast cancer treatment, there has been a 40% decline in breast cancer deaths in the past 30 years. Nevertheless, current statistics remain sobering. An estimated 284,200 individuals in the U.S. will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2021, and approximately 44,130 people will die from the disease, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
  • Human Head Radiates Colors
    Cancer Survivors Share Their Stories
    June 15, 2021
  • Lessons Learned From Cancer Patients
    April 07, 2020
  • Supporting Survivors With Exercise and Nutrition Programs
    December 09, 2019

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. [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.