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Health Indicator Report of Cancer Deaths - Breast Cancer

Among New Mexican women, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, and is the second leading cause of death from cancer.

Average Annual Female Breast Cancer Deaths per 100,000 Females by County, New Mexico, 2013-2017


Breast cancer mortality is defined as a neoplasm, malignant, of breast (ICD10: C50).   Data have been directly age-adjusted to the U.S. 2000 standard population. *This rate is statistically unstable (RSE >0.30), and may fluctuate widely across time periods due to random variation (chance). **This rate is extremely unstable (RSE >0.50) and should not be used to infer population risk. ***The count or rate in certain cells of the table has been suppressed either because 1) the observed number of events is very small and not appropriate for publication, or 2) it could be used to calculate the number in a cell that has been suppressed.

Data Source

New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.


Female Breast Cancer Deaths per 100,000 population (females) in New Mexico


Number of breast cancer deaths


New Mexico female population

Healthy People Objective: C-3, Reduce the female breast cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 20.6 deaths per 100,000 females

Other Objectives

New Mexico Cancer Plan 2012-2017 Objectives: By 2017, increase by 15% the proportion of NM women ages 40 and older who have had a mammogram in the past 2 years, from a 2010 baseline of 71% to 81.7%. New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

The rate of death from breast cancer among New Mexican women has declined over the past two decades.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Historically, New Mexico has had a lower breast cancer mortality rate than the U.S. overall. Beginning in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the breast cancer mortality rate started to decrease for both New Mexican and U.S. women. While the rate of death from breast cancer is still lower for women in New Mexico compared to women in the U.S., the difference in rates is currently not as large as it has been in the past. Decreases in breast cancer deaths over the past couple decades are primarily attributable to improvements in treatment and in early detection through screening mammography. A 2016 analysis estimated that in recent years, improved treatment was responsible for at least two-thirds of the reduction in breast cancer mortality from invasive tumors measuring at least 2 cm, and that the remaining reduction could be attributed to breast cancer screening. (Welch et al., N Engl J Med 375;15: 1438-1447).

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCP) is dedicated to decreasing rates of breast cancer deaths by improving access to high-quality, age-appropriate breast cancer screening and diagnostic services for low-income women who are uninsured or under-insured, and helping them access resources for treatment when necessary. To do this, the BCCP supports changes within provider practices and health systems to increase screening opportunities. In addition, data and surveillance systems, such as monitoring screening quality measures, are used to develop more organized, systematic approaches to cancer screening and to improve service delivery. These approaches are supported by the New Mexico Department of Health and are being implemented by many healthcare organizations and health systems throughout New Mexico. Visit the BCCP website at:

Evidence-based Practices

The BCCP supports New Mexico health care providers and health systems in using evidence-based interventions such as patient reminders, risk assessment tools, reducing structural barriers (e.g., expanding clinic hours, provision of mobile mammography events), provider reminder and recall systems, and provider assessment and feedback on performance. All of these activities have been shown to increase breast cancer screening rates, and are recommended by The Guide to Community Preventive Services, a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force, established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Available Services

The New Mexico Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides free breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to New Mexico women ages 40 years and older who lack health insurance and who live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. More information can be found online at or by calling toll-free 1-877-852-2585. Uninsured women in New Mexico should check to see if they qualify for Centennial Care, which is New Mexico's Medicaid program, at: Uninsured women who don't qualify for Centennial Care may be able to purchase a health insurance plan during certain times of the year through the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange at:

Health Program Information

In addition to the activities listed above, the BCCP is exploring the best options for providing more balanced and useable information to women about both the potential benefits and harms of breast cancer screening. The intent is to enable women to make well-informed decisions about breast cancer screening that are consistent with their values and priorities.
Page Content Updated On 12/11/2018, Published on 12/18/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 29 January 2022 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 18 Dec 2018 08:41:23 MST