County of Marin - Press Releases - Breast Cancer

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2013

New Statewide Breast Cancer Rates Released – Downward Trend in Marin

County’s breast cancer incidence and mortality rates drop, but Marin remains one of the highest in state and nation

San Rafael, CA – The California Cancer Registry (CCR) has released new statewide comparative breast cancer rates that show a drop in Marin County’s breast cancer incidence and mortality rates over the most recent reported five year period, 2006-2010. Marin’s breast cancer incidence rates (i.e. number of cases) remain, however, approximately 10 percent higher than California’s as a whole and about 20 percent higher than the national average.

Mortality rates (deaths) from breast cancer have been on a steady decline in Marin and across California. In the past decade, Marin has gone from one of the top counties in California for breast cancer mortality to one of the lowest; fewer Marin women are dying of breast cancer now than ever before.

“Marin remains one of the highest counties within California and the nation for breast cancer, but with this recent drop in rates, the good news is that Marin is no longer exceptionally high compared to the rest of California and there are other counties with rates as high as Marin,” said Rochelle Ereman, director of the Marin Women’s Study (MWS), a breast cancer research program within the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “These new data leave us optimistic and we continue to be vigilant in hopes that this recent downward trend continues into the future."

Breast cancer mortality rates have been in steady decline in Marin and California over the past decade. “The good news is that fewer women in Marin and California are dying of breast cancer,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Public Health Officer, Marin HHS. “Our overall understanding of the disease, our ability to detect cancer at earlier clinical stages and improvements in personalized therapy have all contributed to lower mortality rates.”

While the latest data are very encouraging, breast cancer incidence and mortality still remain unacceptably high, said Marin HHS Director Larry Meredith, Ph.D. “Continuing strong support from community providers and institutional advocates will enable the Marin Women’s Study to complete this journey of discovery and understanding,” he said.

Marin County HHS has also released a data summary: 2013 Marin Breast Cancer Trends and Risk Factors.  For Marin health data, visit


Dr. Matthew Willis
Public Health Officer
Health and Human Services

3240 Kerner Blvd.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 473-4163
Email: Dr. Matthew Willis
Marin HHS website