About Breast Cancer

This part of the website gives some basic details about cancer in general and breast cancer in particular.  It includes important information on how to watch for signs of possible breast cancer so it can be treated early.

The chance of surviving breast cancer is more than 90% if it is discovered and treated early.

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadian women over the age of 20.
  • 1 in 4 cancers in women are breast cancer throughout Canada: the rate in NWT is higher, approximately 1 in 3 cancers.
  • The chance of getting breast cancer increases with age: for women under 30 years the chance is about 1 in 2500; under 50 years it is 1 in 50; by age 80 it is 1 in 10.
  • 80% of breast cancer cases are in women over the age of 50.
  • Men can also get breast cancer (although this is rare).

For more information about breast cancer figures check out the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation website here.

For more about cancer in NWT, including breast cancer, see ‘Cancer in the Northwest Territories 2001-2010


One of the problems for people with breast cancer, or even a possibility they might have it, is dealing with a lot of strange words and expressions, from healthcare professionals and on websites.  The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has a list of these words and expressions here.