Overview

Who is Most at Risk for Breast Cancer

  • Women. Your risk of developing breast cancer is 100 times higher if you are female than if you are male. Men can still develop breast cancer.
  • Older adults. A person who is 70 years old is far more likely to develop breast cancer than a person who is 30 years old.
  • People with one or more close relatives who have had breast cancer.
    • Your risk increases with each additional relative who has a breast cancer history. Genetic influences for breast cancer can be inherited from either your mother or father’s side.
    • Anyone who has a male relative with a history of breast cancer
  • People with genetic mutations. If you’ve inherited a genetic mutation, such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, you have a markedly increased risk of developing breast cancer.
    • An inherited genetic mutation may mean that cancer risk starts much earlier in life.
    • Some inherited genetic mutations also carry risk of other cancer, such as ovarian or colon cancer.
  • Women with dense breast tissue are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • People who have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have a first-degree relative with one of these syndromes.
  • People who have a personal history of breast cancer. Some benign breast conditions also carry an increased risk, such as atypical ductal hyperplasia, or lobular carcinoma in situ.
  • Any history of radiation exposure at a young age.