Global burden of breast cancer and attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, from 1990 to 2017: results from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017

J Hematol Oncol. 2019 Dec 21;12(1):140. doi: 10.1186/s13045-019-0828-0.


Background: Statistical data on the incidence, mortality, and burden of breast cancer and the relevant risk factors are valuable for policy-making. We aimed to estimate breast cancer incidence, deaths, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) by country, gender, age group, and social-demographic status between 1990 and 2017.

Methods: We extracted breast cancer data from the 2017 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study from 1990 through 2017 in 195 countries and territories. Data about the number of breast cancer incident cases, deaths, DALYs, and the age-standardized rates were collected. We also estimated the risk factors attributable to breast cancer deaths and DALYs using the comparative risk assessment framework of the GBD study.

Results: In 2017, the global incidence of breast cancer increased to 1,960,681 cases. The high social-development index (SDI) quintile included the highest number of breast cancer death cases. Between 2007 and 2017, the ASDR of breast cancer declined globally, especially in high SDI and high middle SDI countries. The related DALYs were 17,708,600 in 2017 with high middle SDI quintile as the highest contributor. Of the deaths and DALYs, alcohol use was the greatest contributor in most GBD regions and other contributors included high body mass index (BMI) and high fasting plasma glucose.

Conclusion: The increasing global breast cancer burden is mainly observed in lower SDI countries; in higher SDI countries, the breast cancer burden tends to be relieving. Therefore, steps against attributable risk factors should be taken to reduce breast cancer burden in lower SDI countries.

Keywords: Alcohol use; Breast cancer; Disability-adjusted life years; Global cancer burden; Incidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Global Burden of Disease*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult