Your Breast Cancer Risk

These factors increase your breast cancer risk:

  • Age — Risk increases with age, especially after age 50
  • Gender — Women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men, but men can get it, too
  • Race — White, non-Hispanic women have the highest overall rate for breast cancer in the United States. African-American women who are ages 40 to 50 have a higher incidence than white women.
  • Personal history of cancer (this may be caused by both heredity and environmental factors)
  • Family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Early onset of menstrual periods (before the age of 12)
  • No children or children born later in life
  • Late menopause (after age 55)
  • Use of (combined) hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone)
  • Alcohol use, especially excessive use
  • Overweight and lack of physical activity
  • High bone density
  • High breast density
  • Hyperplasia
The writer as a child, with her dad. Family info started her journey to uncover her genetic breast cancer risk.

How to Deal With a Scary Discovery

Finding out you might have a high risk for breast cancer can be scary - until you learn there's something you can do about it.

Read Megan's story