National Breast Cancer Coalition

Breast Cancer Information and Positions

NBCC has gathered the latest scientific evidence on a range of breast cancer topics that impact the care and treatment of women with or at risk of the disease. We have analyzed this information from the perspective of consumer advocates. Read more about the evidence we used and to see the scientific references.

Mammography for Breast Cancer Screening
Harm/Benefit Analysis: The scientific evidence from randomized trials on the impact of screening mammography in saving lives is conflicted, and the quality of the individual trials limited. The benefits of screening mammography in reducing mortality are modest and there are harms associated with screening. Mammography does not prevent or cure breast cancer, and has many limitations. Read more

Breast Self-Exam
The evidence does not support efforts to promote and teach BSE on a population-wide level in any age group of women. If a woman wishes to be taught BSE, she should be informed of the potential risks and benefits. Read more

Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk
It has been hypothesized that surgical (induced) and spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) increase breast cancer risk. However, the highest quality studies show that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer risk. Read more

Chemoprevention
Women need more information on the potential risks and benefits of taking tamoxifen, raloxifene, and aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer risk reduction. There is no current evidence that these drugs ‘prevent’ breast cancer; some studies suggest that they may reduce the chance that a woman will get breast cancer during a certain period of time. NBCC urges physicians to prescribe chemoprevention drugs cautiously and responsibly. Read more

Access to Investigational Interventions Outside of Clinical Trials

Access to investigational drugs outside of clinical trials must be carefully designed to be fair and to protect the research process that we depend on to bring us closer to eradicating breast cancer. Read more

Genetic Testing for Inherited Predisposition to Breast Cancer
Few Benefits, Many Limitations: A genetic test for breast cancer should only be utilized with full consideration of its limitations and implications. Genetic testing cannot cure or prevent breast cancer, and cannot accurately predict whether an individual woman will or will not develop breast cancer. Read more

Breast Cancer Facts & Figures

In 2012, over 226,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and over 63,000 with in situ breast cancer. Over 2,100 men will be diagnosed with the disease. Read more