Survival statistics for breast cancer

Last medical review:

Survival statistics for breast cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

Like most scientific information, survival statistics are currently collected and analyzed on a male/female or men/women binary. We need more research to determine the survival statistics for breast cancer for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse people.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for breast cancer and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability (chance) of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, the 5-year net survival for breast cancer in women is 89%. This means that, on average, about 89% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will live for at least 5 years.

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of breast cancer. Generally, the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.

In Canada, survival by stage for breast cancer is reported as 5-year net survival for women and men.


5-year net survival

for women

5-year net survival

for men








74% 66%



stage unknown 55% no reliable statistics

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer, such as the tumour grade
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Expert review and references

  • Kathryn Isaac, MD, FRCSC, MPH
  • Melinda Musgrave , MD, FRCPC, PhD
  • Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2022. Canadian Cancer Society; 2022:
  • Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2021. Canadian Cancer Society; 2021.
  • Ellison LF, Saint-Jacques N. Five-year cancer survival by stage at diagnosis in Canada. Health Reports. Ottawa, ON : Statistics Canada; 2023: 34(1):3–15.
  • National Cancer Institute. Cancer Stat Facts: Female Breast Cancer. National Institutes of Health; 2022:
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) . Breast Cancer Statistics . 2022 .

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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