Breast Cancer Deaths

Deaths due to breast cancer in females per 100,000 female population

  • New Jersey State Health Assessment
  • Multiple Cause of Death Data, National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistic
Calculated by the Dashboard Team using data from 2020, 3 year estimate.
Dashboard-City Average

Why do we measure breast cancer deaths?

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.1 Fortunately, survival rates have increased dramatically over the past half-century, in large part due to improved screening and detection of the disease. Improvements in screening and early detection are associated with an approximately 20% reduction in death from breast cancer.2,3

There are several risk factors for breast cancer, including older age, being Black, young age (< 12 years) at first menstrual period, breast characteristics, delayed childbearing, short length of time breastfeeding, hormone use, alcohol and tobacco use, poor diet, and physical inactivity.4 In addition, specific genetic mutations, notably in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, are strongly associated with breast cancer.4  Women aged 45-54 should be screened annually for breast cancer, and women aged 55 or older should be screened every two years, according to 2015 guidelines from the American Cancer Society.5 Treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy.4

How do we measure breast cancer deaths?

This metric includes any woman who has died from breast cancer.

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths of Metric

Limitations of Metric

• Measuring breast cancer deaths helps us determine the quality of screening and intervention protocols.

• This metric is available broken down by race and ethnicity, which can help target resources and interventions for groups that historically have been underrepresented.

• As deaths from breast cancer have declined over the years, measuring the number of breast cancer survivors and those currently undergoing treatment may be a more useful measure of the disease.


Breast cancer deaths are calculated by the following formula:

Breast Cancer Deaths Calculation

This metric is calculated for females only, as breast cancer is a rare occurrence in males. For more information on the calculation, please refer to the City Health Dashboard Technical Document

Data Source

Estimates for this metric are from Multiple Cause of Death Data from the National Vital Statistics System of the National Center for Health Statistics. Multi-year data are available for this metric. For more information, please refer to Using Multi-Year Data: Tips and Cautions

Breast cancer deaths are identified by the International Disease Classification codes (version 10) that classifies underlying causes of death. This metric uses ICD-10 codes C500-504, C506, C508-9.


  1. American Cancer Society. How Common Is Breast Cancer? Accessed January 12, 2018.

  2. Adams SA, Hebert JR, Bolick-Aldrich S, et al. Breast cancer disparities in South Carolina: early detection, special programs, and descriptive epidemiology. Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association (1975). 2006;102(7):231-239.

  3. Myers ER, Moorman P, Gierisch JM, et al. Benefits and Harms of Breast Cancer Screening: A Systematic Review. Jama. 2015;314(15):1615-1634.

  4. Winters S, Martin C, Murphy D, Shokar NK. Breast Cancer Epidemiology, Prevention, and Screening. Progress in molecular biology and translational science. 2017;151:1-32.

  5. Oeffinger KC, Fontham EH, Etzioni R, et al. Breast cancer screening for women at average risk: 2015 guideline update from the american cancer society. JAMA. 2015;314(15):1599-1614.

Last updated: July 26, 2023