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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Risk Factors and Prevention > Options for Women at Higher Risk


Options for Women at Higher Risk


Many factors increase breast cancer risk only slightly (such as a later age at menopause). However, there are a few factors that put women at very high risk of breast cancer.

Women at higher risk of breast cancer

Each of these factors can greatly increase the risk of breast cancer [244]:

Some risk factors for breast cancer increase women's risk a modest amount (such as usual hyperplasia). Having more than one of these factors however, may also put a woman at higher risk.  

Learn more about estimating breast cancer risk

Breast cancer screening for women at higher risk

There are special breast cancer screening guidelines for some women at higher risk [89,244]. If you have a higher risk of breast cancer, talk with your health care provider about which screening options are right for you. You may need to be screened earlier and/or more often.  

Learn more about breast cancer screening for women at higher risk

Risk-lowering options for women at higher risk

If you have a higher risk of breast cancer, there are some options to help lower your risk including:

Such decisions should only be made after talking with your provider.   

Komen Support Resources  

  • Our breast care helpline 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) provides free, professional support services and help finding local support groups. Our trained and caring staff are available to you and your family Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST and from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST. 
  • Our Message Boards offer online forums to share your thoughts or feelings about subjects related to breast cancer. Our Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer forum within the Message Boards offers women at higher risk a place to share their own unique experiences and challenges.

Updated 11/12/13

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