Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Breast Cancer Mortality

Breast Cancer Mortality

Breast Cancer Mortality in Canada
Breast cancer is a type of malignancy or uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the breast tissue.1 There are several risk factors associated with breast cancer2, including:

  •  Older age
  •  Family history of breast cancer
  •  Oral contraceptive use
  •  Hormonal replacement therapy during menopause
  •  High-fat diet
  •  Alcohol consumption
  •  Physical inactivity
  •  Exposure to environmental chemicals with estrogenic properties
  •  Exposure to radiation

In Canada, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women, surpassed only by skin cancer.1 In 2012, there were approximately 22700 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer in women.3 Roughly 15% of all cancer deaths in Canadian women are attributed to breast cancer.1 Breast cancer mortality rates vary from province to province, and while there are often more deaths from breast cancer in urban than in rural areas, this is not always the case (Figure 1).