State Agencies | Online Services

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Ohio, regardless of race. Breast cancer accounts for 28 percent of all reportable cancers diagnosed Ohio women. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women. The average annual mortality rate for breast cancer in Ohio females from 2003 to 2007 was 26.5 per 100,000. This represents 1,875 average annual deaths from breast cancer over the time period.

About 65 men were diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Ohio from 2003-2007, with a corresponding rate of 1.2 per 100,000 which is equal to the rate in the U.S. Clinically, breast cancer in men is very similar to breast cancer in women, but the prognosis is poorer for men because they tend to be diagnosed at a later stage.

Risk Factors

Although a specific cause is unknown, several risk factors may contribute to the development of breast cancer. They include:
  • Age (95 percent of breast cancers occur in women aged 40 and older)
  • Personal or family history of breast cancer (5 percent--10 percent of breast cancers are hereditary)
  • Race  (White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women , but African American women are more likely to die of this cancer, due in part to more aggressive tumors among African American women)
  • Ethnicity (Ashkenazi Jews are at increased risk due to increased prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations)
  • Previous breast radiation
  • Long menstrual history (women who started menstruating before age 12 or who went through menopause after 55 have a higher risk)
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) (Women who were given DES during pregnancy have slightly increased risk along with their daughters)
  • Overweight/obesity (especially after menopause)
  • Recent use of oral contraceptives or long-term use of post-menopausal estrogens and progestin
  • Never having a child or first child after age 30
  • Not breast feeding
  • Alcohol use, especially two or more drinks daily
  • Physical inactivity

Prevention and Early Detection

Nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if detected early. An annual mammogram from age 40 and over is the most effective way to detect breast cancer at an early, curable stage. Annual clinical breast exams by a doctor or nurse and monthly self-breast examinations are additional ways to detect breast cancer early. Some breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, cannot be changed. However, a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer may be reduced by staying physically active, avoiding obesity and reducing alcohol use.

Ohio's Breast and Cervical Cancer Project

Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) is a program that provides high quality breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic testing and case management services at no cost to eligible women in Ohio. 

For More Information

For more information on breast cancer visit the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program's Resources Page.



Last Reviewed 10/05/2015