Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Knowledge about your personal breast cancer risk factors is an important step toward breast cancer prevention.

Various factors affect each woman’s risk for developing breast cancer. For instance, women with first-degree relatives diagnosed with breast cancer or a history of certain genetic mutations with their family are at higher risk than women within no history or limited family history of breast cancer.

Some of these factors, such as family history, women have no control over. However, lifestyle choices also affect a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. Living a physically active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet may help women to reduce risk of developing breast cancer.

Women should take steps to understand their personal risk for breast cancer, as well as ways they can make lifestyle choices that support their overall health. Below is a list of just some known risk factors for breast cancer.

Major Breast Cancer Risk Factors

breast cancer risk factors | Breast Cancer Type Breakdown

Graphic courtesy of Ambry Genetics.

  • Family history (any first-degree relative, like mother, sister and/or daughter), with elevated risk if there is a history of pre-menopausal or a bilateral (both breasts) breast cancer.
  • Previous high-risk biopsy.
  • Previous personal history of breast cancer.
  • History of chest wall radiation.
  • Known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation in the family.

Minor Breast Cancer Risk Factors

  • Early onset of menstrual period.
  • First birth after age 30 or no pregnancy.
  • Greater than 1 ounce of alcohol per day.
  • Prolonged use of post-menopausal hormones.
  • Body weight > 30 percent of normal.
  • Dense breasts on mammography.
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish heritage.

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment at Breastlink

At Breastlink, we believe knowledge is power. We want to help you better understand your personal risk for developing breast cancer, so that you can make the best lifestyle choices and health care decisions to promote your breast health.

Our comprehensive risk assessment program is designed to provide you knowledge of your personal risk factors and is covered by most insurance plans. To learn more, visit our risk assessment program page.

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Breastlink's Risk Assessment Program.

Every woman has a unique set of breast cancer risk factors - what are yours?
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