October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

join with the aacr to find better ways to prevent and treat breast cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 298,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 43,000 will die of the disease in 2023. In addition, an estimated 2,800 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer and 530 will die of the disease this year.

Breast cancer is the most common type of non-skin cancer in women in the United States, accounting for 15 percent of all new cases. It is second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women. 

There are a number of different types of breast cancer. The most common form of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular carcinoma and is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red, and swollen.

Being female and older in age are the main risk factors for breast cancer. Other risk factors include estrogen (made in the body), dense breast tissue, age at menstruation and first birth, taking hormones for symptoms of menopause, smoking, obesity, and not getting enough exercise.

Hereditary breast cancer makes up 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Women who have certain gene mutations, such as mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. 

Men can also develop breast cancer, making up slightly less than 1 percent of those diagnosed each year. Radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen, and a family history of breast cancer can increase a man’s risk of the disease.

The latest on breast cancer

Recent research gives hope that some women with breast cancer can safely pause their treatment if they want to get pregnant. Read more on the AACR blog, Cancer Research Catalyst: Pausing Breast Cancer Treatment to Get Pregnant, and Other News from SABCS 2022.

A new targeted therapy was found to extend progression-free survival in people with metastatic hormone receptor-positive breast cancer who had progressed after previous endocrine therapy. Read more in Cancer Today magazine: Capivasertib Extends Progression-Free Survival in Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

What the AACR is Doing in Breast Cancer Research

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

The annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is cosponsored by the AACR and UT Health San Antonio’s Mays Cancer Center. This year’s SABCS® will be held December 5-9, 2023. The four-day scientific conference is geared to an international audience of basic scientists, physician-scientists, clinical investigators, and breast care providers, as well as patient advocates seeking an exchange of new information in experimental biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of premalignant breast disease and breast cancer.


In 2022, the AACR has awarded 6 grants to investigators pursuing promising research related to breast cancer research. 

for more information

Please see our page on breast cancer for more information on prevention, screening, and treatment, as well as breast cancer treatment during pregnancy.