U.S: Share of Breast Cancer Cases, by subtype
Subtype of breast cancerDistribution of cases,
in %
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 2015 to 2019
  • Published: 2022

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Dominance of HR+/HER2- Subtype

The HR+/HER2- subtype of breast cancer is the most prevalent among U.S. women, accounting for 68% of cases. This significantly exceeds the distribution of any other subtype, highlighting the need for targeted research and healthcare strategies focused on this group.

Minor Representation of HR-/HER2+ Subtype

With only 4% of cases, the HR-/HER2+ subtype represents a minor fraction of breast cancer occurrences. This rarity suggests potential challenges in research and patient support specific to this subtype, necessitating dedicated efforts for effective treatment developments.

Equal Prevalence of HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- Subtypes

Both the HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- subtypes share an equal distribution, each making up 10% of cases. This parity indicates a significant portion of the population may benefit from therapies targeting both hormone receptor-positive and negative, as well as HER2-positive and negative conditions.

Unknown Subtypes Comprise a Notable Portion

Cases with an unknown subtype account for 8%, underscoring a considerable gap in breast cancer diagnostics and data collection. This highlights the necessity for advancements in diagnostic accuracy and comprehensive data gathering to better support all affected women.

Implications for Treatment and Research Focus

The distribution suggests a compelling need for concentrated research and treatment options especially tailored for the HR+/HER2- subtype, which dominates the landscape. Simultaneously, the existence of less common subtypes and unknown classifications points towards the requirement for a diverse approach in medical research and healthcare provision, ensuring no patient is left behind.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which subtype of breast cancer is the most prevalent among U.S. women?

The HR+/HER2- subtype of breast cancer is the most prevalent, accounting for 68% of cases.

How represented is the HR-/HER2+ subtype of breast cancer in U.S. women?

The HR-/HER2+ subtype of breast cancer is less common, making up only 4% of cases.

What is the prevalence of the HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- subtypes of breast cancer?

Both the HR+/HER2+ and HR-/HER2- subtypes are equally prevalent, each comprising 10% of cases.

Terms and Definitions

This is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the breast. It is the most common type of cancer in women, but it can also occur in men. The growth of breast cancer cells often begins in the milk-producing ducts, but can also start in the glandular tissue or other areas of the breast.

Breast cancer subtypes are categories of the disease that are based on the specific characteristics of the cancer cells. These different subtypes often respond differently to treatments and have different prognoses, making it important for doctors to identify the subtype when planning treatment.

These are classifications of breast cancer that depend on the presence or absence of receptors to the hormone estrogen. ER+ breast cancers have estrogen receptors and can be treated with hormone therapy, while ER- breast cancers do not have these receptors and generally require other forms of treatment.

Similar to the estrogen receptor classification, these are types of breast cancers that either do, or do not, have receptors to the hormone progesterone. PR+ breast cancers may respond to hormone therapy, while PR- cancers generally require different treatments.

This subtype of breast cancer depends on the overexpression of the HER2 gene. HER2+ breast cancers are often more aggressive and less responsive to hormone treatment compared to other types, though targeted therapies are available that specifically act against HER2+ cells.

This is a subtype of breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative. It is particularly challenging to treat, because it does not respond to hormonal therapies or medications that target HER2 receptors.

Malignant is a term used to describe a severe and progressively worsening disease. In the context of cancer, malignancy refers to the ability of the cancerous cells to spread, invade, and damage tissues and organs both near and distant from the site of the primary tumor.
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