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Breast Cancer Research Highlights

The American Cancer Society (ACS) helps people with breast cancer in every community. Our research programs have played a role in many of the prevention, screening, and treatment advances that save lives from breast cancer today. And, we continue to fund research to help save even more lives in the future.

Breast Cancer Continues to Increase

Since the mid 2000s, slight increases in breast cancer incidence rates may be partly due to more women having obesity, fewer children, or their first baby after 30.

Testing Diverse Groups Finds New Breast Cancer Genes

Researcher's analysis of genetic data from diverse ancestral groups uncovered new genes implicated in the development of breast cancer.

group of black and white women with one man in back in front red head with short sleeve brown shirt

The ACS Cancer Prevention Studies have played a role in identifying or validating every known common genetic variant for breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancers. We've collaborated with scientists across the United States to analyze large compilations of data. We're helping make discoveries about the genetics of cancer that have the potential to improve screening guidelines, lead to new targeted therapies, and inform follow-up care after cancer treatment."

Alpa Patel, PhD

Senior Vice President Population Science

American Cancer Society

asian woman wearing turquoise patterned shirt

Striking Breast Cancer Statistics on the Value of Mammograms


women who have an abnormal mammogram after screening


women with abnormal mammograms who have cancer

Featured Breast Cancer Term: Triple-negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

A subtype of breast cancer that grows faster and is more likely to spread and recur. It is more common in women younger than age 40, who are Black, or who have a BRCA1 genetic mutation. 

It’s called triple negative because the cancer cells in TNBC don’t have receptors for the hormones estrogen (ER) or progesterone (PR). Plus, TNBC cells make very little or none of the protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor). That means all 3 biopsy tests to check for these hormones and the HER2 protein come back "negative." 

Eye-Opening Breast Cancer Statistics on Racial Disparities


average increase in breast cancer incidence rates each year since the


increased likelihood Black women have of developing triple-negative breast cancer 


increase in the breast cancer death rate for Black women compared with White women 

We Fund Cancer Researchers Across the US

The ACS funds scientists who conduct research about breast cancer at medical schools, universities, research institutes, and hospitals throughout the United States. We use a rigorous and independent peer review process to select the most innovative research project proposals to fund. 


breast cancer research grants


funding for breast cancer research