Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the commonest cancer among females in Hong Kong. Between 1993 and 2018, the number of diagnosed breast cancer cases among women in Hong Kong increased by 4 times. From 1,152 cases per year to 4,618 cases per year, with an average of 12 women diagnosed each day. 1 in 14 women has a chance to suffer from breast cancer in their life.

Breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths among females in Hong Kong, after lung and colorectal cancers. In 2018, a total of 753 women died from breast cancer, accounting for 12.4% of all cancer deaths in females.

In 2018, 51% of breast cancer cases occurred in women aged 40-59. The median age of diagnosed sufferers in Hong Kong is 57 years old. The older the age, the higher the risk. However, this does not mean that young people will not suffer from breast cancer. The youngest patient in Hong Kong is less than 25 years old. Even so, if breast cancer can be detected early, the cure rate is over 80% 

The etiology of some patients is unknown but lifestyle habits are closely related to the risk of disease. 

Inherited factors
  • Gene mutations 
  • Family inheritance

Acquired factors
  • Lack of physical activity 
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obesity after menopause
  • First childbirth over 40 years old, no childbirth or no breastfeeding
  • Menarche before 11 years old or menopause over 54 years old
  • History of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or endometrial cancer 
  • History of benign breast conditions or lobular carcinoma in situ 
  • Receiving hormonal replacement therapy
  • Using combined oral contraceptives 
  • History of receiving radiation therapy to the chest before 30 years old