What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?
Calculate Your Breast Cancer Risk
(for women 35-84)
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What is a Clinical Trial?
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About the NSABP
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A Note About Genetic Testing
General Information About Breast Cancer
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What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer?

Do you know?
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in North American women. It is a leading cause of cancer death, second only to lung cancer. Simply being a woman and getting older puts you at risk for breast cancer.

What puts me at risk?
Risk for developing breast cancer is individual. It depends on a combination of lifestyle and personal traits known as "risk factors." The following risk factors are strongly related to the disease and can alert you and your physician to the need for careful follow-up:
  • A family history of breast cancer, especially in your mother, sister(s), or
  • Age -- in general, the older you are, the greater your risk
  • Never having borne a child
  • Having your first child after age 30
  • First menstrual period at an early age
  • A history of benign breast disease that required biopsies
  • Other breast conditions: lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or atypical hyperplasia.

    How can you determine your individual risk?
    Just knowing these risk factors for breast cancer will not establish your individual risk. Researchers have developed a computerized formula known as the Gail model, that can evaluate your personal risk factors and predict your five-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer. This breast cancer risk calculation is fast and simple. If you would like to know your own predicted breast cancer risk, you can calculate it here.

    This Web site is a product of the
    National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).