most likely to get cancer
- Gender: breast cancer is more common in women then men
- Age: common in older women but not in teens
- Genetic risk factors: Inherited changes (mutations) in certain genes
- Family history: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. Still, most women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of this disease, so not having a relative with breast cancer doesn’t mean you won’t get it.
- Personal history of breast cancer: A woman with cancer in one breast has a greater chance of getting a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast.
- Race: Overall, white women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than African-American women. African-American women, though, are more likely to die of breast cancer. Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women have a lower risk of getting and dying from breast cancer.
- Certain benign (not cancer) breast problems: Women who have certain benign breast changes may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Some of these are more closely linked to breast cancer risk than others. For more details about these, see our document,
- Menstrual periods: Women who began having periods early (before age 12) or who went through the change of life (menopause) after the age of 55 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.
- Breast radiation early in life: Women who have had radiation treatment to the chest area (as treatment for another cancer) as a child or young adult have a greatly increased risk of breast cancer. The risk from chest radiation is highest if the radiation were given during the teens, when the breasts were still developing.
increases risk of getting breast cancer
- You had your first monthly period before 11 years old, or are still having periods after 54 years old.
- You had your first pregnancy after the age of 40.
- You have taken birth control or female hormones
- You have not breastfed, or you breastfed for only a short time.
- You have a close family member with breast cancer.
- You eat foods high in fat